Simple Dry Fly Fishing with Craig Mathews

Simple Dry Fly Fishing with Craig Mathews

I love to dry fly fish. And when I get to
a river, and I want to dry fly fish, I’ll sit down on the bank, I’ll ready my gear,
tie in some tippet, and I’ll watch the water. I’ll look for rising fish, I’ll look for insects,
I’ll look for birds flying around that are taking insects,and I’ll do exactly what the
river tells me to do. In other words, if I get here in the evening and I see birds flying
around like we’re seeing now, I’ll think, “Oh, probably caddis.” But I’ll look for caddis
shucks, I’ll look for some adults, I’ll look for some emerging caddis, and I’ll tie on
the appropriate pattern. By doing just a little homework you can prepare yourself for those
kind of emergences and that kind of dry fly fishing. So I’ll sit on the bank, I’ll look
for some dunns or spinners. This morning when I got here I saw a big tail come out of the
water. That indicated a fish feeding on a nymph that’s just prior to emerging. I love
to do what the river tells me to do, and it only takes a minute or two to find those clues,
to uncover those clues. You knot on the appropriate fly, you walk out and you have a great evening
or a great morning of fishing. How to Fish Tenkara
With Dry Flies So here we are, and I’ll pick a spot like
this to begin my dry fly fishing. Usually fish will lay in these feeding lanes- these
foam lanes, these seams, that’s where their groceries are going to be delivered. And let’s
assume we have a good rise of fish right now. We’re going to be fishing tenkara, my first
cast is going to be straight upstream, I love to fish straight upstream. The straight upstream
dead drift. It’s coming at me – how I defeat drag is I lift the rod like this, to take
in the slack. Again- straight upstream, dead drift. The next type of cast I’ll make is quartering-
quartering up and across. I’ll quarter, I’ll mend now. Mending upstream, putting some line
upstream. Perhaps you can see that fly floating very naturally, as I mend. That’s up and across. There’s one other method of presentation in
this instance, and that’s straight across. And I might cast straight across- notice the
drag- if I don’t mend my line, I’m going to get drag. Drag is your enemy when fishing
dry flies. It creates an unnecessary belly in your line, and it speeds your fly up and
wakes your fly. Again, straight upstream with the tenkara, I’m taking up slack by lifting,
I’m defeating drag by lifting my line. Should a fish take my fly I’ll simply set my hook
and I’ll be into the fish. Another presentation with a dry fly, assuming
a fish rises right at the bank, to present my cast I’m going to make a simple short cast
like this. Notice a very slight mend, and I’ll get a perfect presentation. Should the
fish rise almost directly downstream from me, I’ll cast a foot or two above that fish,
and I’ll throw just a little bit of slack, and now I’ll mend. This is down and across.
Again another mend, so that I can get a perfectly drag-free float. Again, drag is very very
bad, you’ll put the fish down. Another one I’ll do is straight downstream
and I’ll check my cast like that, and notice the slack line that I get in the cast. That
will allow me to feed a little bit of line, even with a tenkara, and I’ll get a perfect
presentation, my fly is still floating drag-free all the way into that cast. So you have a down and across, a mend, you
have a straight downstream check your cast, creating some slack, stop your cast, creating
some “S”-es, see that line, I’m still feeding it out, it’s perfect presentation, drag-free.
And then straight even with me should a fish rise right there. And then I’m going to have
to mend to defeat drag. These are the presentation casts I’ll use to fish dry flies in water
such as this. Pinpoint-Accurate Cast You want to make a perfect pinpoint accurate
cast. Basically 10 – noon, you get a good candy-cane effect, you let it go, boom you’re
right on target. Fly landed right on the boulder. Again, without even making a false cast – and
that’s the beauty of tenkara: pick your target, cast, and you’re right on target. Right on
that rock. With a little practice, you’ll be doing just perfectly. A fixed-line tenkara
is so easy to learn this cast. Simply pick it up, you’re right there. Pick up – and practice
this cast. Pick it up, don’t go way back, and come forward. Pick it up, and go right
back out. You’ll be doing just fine after you practice this case for 10 or 15 minutes. Quite often people will say to bring the cast
right up to your nose, it’s very cumbersome, you’ll hit your hat. You want to angle your
rod slightly off, maybe 30º to keep your fly and your flyline away from your hat or
other obstructions. It’s not wrist, it’s strictly your arm. If
you break your wrist, you’re going to cause that problem there. It’s all in the arm, there’s
no power involved, simply pick it up, bring it back – and if you have trouble, just watch
the candy cane develop. Your line forms a candy cane. Just make that 10 o’clock-to-1
o’clock. If you break your wrist, if you do this, you’re
not going to have accuracy. By breaking your wrist you’ll cause a big, sloppy loop, you’ll
have problems in the wind, and that’s the problem you’ll have. The wind will blow your
cast back. So you want to use your arm, it’s not anything to do with power. The line casts
the fly, and the rod merely moves the line. And that’s why beginners and ladies always
pick it up – it’s a timing, it’s not power at all, there’s no power involved. Simply
pick it up and recast. You want to be kind of flexible, whether you’re
fishing tenkara or traditional. You want to move your body, you want to face your target.
I like to face it with a little bit of an angle, maybe a 15 or 20 percent angle. A lot
of people get down low — you can get down low to defeat wind. The lower you make the
cast, the more you’ll be out of the wind. If you make your cast real high on a windy
day, you’ll suffer blowback from the wind and your fly and your line will all come back
into your face. So stay a little bit low, and you’ll defeat wind and also defeat drag.
The beauty of tenkara too, is no false casting. So many anglers you see on the river false
cast 10 times. Simply pick it up and go right back out again, whether you’re fishing nymphs
or dry flies or whatever. Pick it up, go right back out there. If your fly’s not in the water,
you’re not going to catch fish. So do what the river tells you to do, present that drag-free
presentation. For dry fly fishing, you’re going to catch a lot of fish, I guarantee

local_offerevent_note August 30, 2019

account_box Gilbert Heid


10 thoughts on “Simple Dry Fly Fishing with Craig Mathews”

  • you cant see the line he keeps describing.  mends, fly location, S-bend in fly line: none of it is visible.   still, would love to be on the river with this guy, a total pro

  • Tenkara is fly fishing. It's just less expensive … and often more effective. I would go so far as to say it is the new economies "Elite" fly fishing style. Extremely affordable to all. You do not need the vest, the waders, all the do-dads … a simple rod, line, tippet and fly, and a pair of shoes you don't mind getting wet … and one (or two) simple fly pattern … and you are rocking Tenkara.

  • Tenkara is a mind-set, not just a method of flyfishing. So we should try to be more simple in our approach to the river and the trout. The reel has been eliminated, and so should all those bulging fly boxes in our vest. How about two boxes: one for dries, another for wets. That should do it, don't you think? Less chatter in the vest, less chatter in the mind. NOW, you are approaching the Tenkara, zen-like mind set. It will give you more joy on the stream, because you will looking more into the water, and less into your vest. A refreshing new approach to trout fishing, to life.

  • Would love to know the line length and tippet length. I know Yvon does a western setup rather than traditional japanese furled or even polycarbonate line.

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