Here’s a beautiful Muskegon river brown trout that absolutely smashed my caddis dry fly submerged under the water column on the swing. This brown trout struck my dry fly submerged under the water column just as my fly line straightened out behind me and I started to retrieve the fly at the terminal end of my drift.
Its been a common misconception that trout will only strike dry flies on the surface of the water column. When in all actuality, brown and rainbow trout will more times than not strike the dry fly just as it sinks below the water column and starts to “swing” at the very end of your drift as your fly line straightens out behind you.
This big brown was a prime example. Positioned in a group with three to four other large size trout feeding on flies top surface in an approximate five foot circular feeding area; this big brown struck my fly as it sank under the water column behind the group of trout feeding top surface. This big guy struck my fly at the terminal end of my swing just as my fly line completely straightened out behind me.
As my dry fly swung through under the water column, I let the fly line straighten completely out behind me to complete my drift. Just as my fly line straightened completely out at the end of my drift, I felt the sudden pull of this big brown’s strike which felt like a lightening bolt striking my fly rod through my arm, up my body, and almost yanked the fly rod out of my hand. This brown struck the dry fly submerged under the water column as I completed my drift with the fly swinging to the terminal end of my drift with the fly line completely straightened out behind me.
All too often dry fly anglers don’t take advantage of getting the maximum amount of drift out of their cast by letting the fly line completely straighten out behind them successfully completing the end of the drift. Fly anglers often pick the fly up off the water way too early to cast again without letting the fly complete its drift and straighten out behind them. Many times trout will follow the dry fly submerged under the water column. Once the trout sees the fly swing past them and straighten out behind them, the first movement of the angler retrieving the fly away from the trout can and often times trigger a strike.
So the next time you’re casting dry flies to a group of trout feeding at the surface, make sure to complete the entire drift by allowing that dry fly to swing past the trout top surface and let that fly sink below the water column and swing until your fly line completely straightens out behind you at the end of your drift. You’d be surprised how many more trout you’ll hook by successfully completing your entire drift!
Despite the Gray Drake hatch starting to come to an end, trout are still actively feeding top water with caddis hatches taking center stage followed by cahills, hendricks, and blue winged olives. The extreme heat followed by some recent cool weather have the trout feeding actively throughout the river system and June is a great time of year to get out and fly fish the Muskegon river!
post by: jon fortuna