LESSON THREE: The Dry Fly Event
In our previous
lessons, we discussed the ground rules (where to practice), targets and
tackle. Today, we're going to learn and practice the Dry Fly Event, a
wonderful game, which is not only a springboard to successful trout fishing,
but is very helpful in just about every type of fly fishing where casting
accuracy is needed. Let's get going.
What if you missed it? Don't despair; it's a learning process. You are charged a demerit for each foot, or fraction of a foot that the fly lands away from the target. All demerits are subtracted from a perfect score of 100 for your final score. Max demerits per ring are 10. More on scores later.
Now you are ready for the second target. Lift the fly off the ground or water and begin false casting again over the second target. Adjust your line by stripping out more line from the reel and letting it feed through the guides while false casting. If you let out too much line, strip some in. When you think the fly will land in the center of the target, make your forward cast (presentation) and drop the fly into the target. If you miss, you will have to add more demerits to your score (again, one demerit for each foot or fraction thereof, with a maximum of ten demerits). Now proceed to the third target, fourth and fifth target. After you cast the fifth target, lift the line off the surface and continue to false cast and at the same time strip in line to shorten your cast for the closest target. Repeat the procedure (cast another round of five targets) so that you cast a total of ten times (twice at each target).
tournaments there are other demerits: the most important one is that your
fly doesn't strike the surface in front of you ("tick") while
false casting. If it does, you get three demerits for each tick.
Why bother to keep score? Because it measures your progress. Keep track
of your scores in a little notebook and as you continue to practice you
will notice improvement after several weeks.
HOW DOES THIS DRY FLY EVENT HELP OUR FISHING?
fly-casting accuracy is the most important goal. Wouldn't it be great
if you could come close to your target area when fishing a stream, pond
or lake? While accurate casting is an advantage for nearly every species
that will take a fly, it's particularly important in most stream trout
fishing. On some brown trout waters, it is essential! When you practice
casting at the targets visualize a big trout underneath it. It helps to
play mind games.
But there are other lessons to be learned from this event. The ability to strip and adjust line while false casting without ticking the surface is very important. Most inexperienced casters lengthen their line by casting on the water: they make a cast, lift up the line, and make another cast on the water, and they repeat this until they reach the target. Forget it! Most wary brown trout are long gone, especially if you "rip" the line from the surface instead of lifting it quietly with each "measuring" cast.
You will also learn to judge the distance of the fly as it swirls back and forth during false casting. This is vital when you are lengthening your line via false casting in order to reach a feeding trout.
You will find out the best way of letting out or taking in line is to run it under your index finger of your casting hand.
It's best to practice on water not only because you can see where the fly lands better, but because you want the fly to land softly on the water. In tournament competition, if your fly sinks on a cast you receive three demerits and you're not allowed to put a floatant on the fly.
Some experienced tournament fly casters put more power on the final forward cast but mentally aim it about a couple of feet above the target. This cushions the cast and allows the fly lands softly.
trout in clear waters are very difficult to fool and require delicate,
accurate presentations. This is where the Dry Fly Event comes in handy.