Fly Fishing with Chris Dore

Your FFF Certified Fly Casting Professional, and Member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association


Tip from Chris - Fluff less to catch more fish

Posted by chrisdore on February 21, 2017 at 11:20 PM

Top anglers catch more fish, across a wider range of situations... They get into position, and get their fly out there in front of fish quick and without hassle. This is one of the reasons why they simply catch more fish.



Now Johnny Punter, upon being shown a feeding fish will saunter into position, after painstakingly dropping his pack and adjusting his waders, wiping his glasses clean and then proceeds to wrap his fly around his rod tip several times, while still flailing away false casting, while peeling 10 inches of line from the reel every false cast…. in case you’re wondering, he did not catch that fish…




Create a pre-cast routine… it’s that simple.


Advanced Archery Bowhunting guru, Simon Bullivant once advised me to create a ‘shot sequence’ when preparing to fire at a target. “Practise it often, cover the essentials and make it instinctive, then you’ll hit more targets.”


My shot sequence now consists of nocking the arrow, checking it’s tight, tweaking the peep site, securing the release and drawing back smooth, ensuring the knuckle of my thumb lightly touches the lobe of my ear. Inhale…exhale…pause and squeeze.


I bark a lot of directions on the river as any of my guiding clients will tell you. However one of the most important ‘orders’ is the series of actions from the approach to the trout to the cast. Here’s a sampler:


– Take a prominent marker so you know where the fish is from your casting position — usually a different position from where we initially see him… “two rod lengths out and half a rod length below that lowest willow branch,” or “half a rod out from that boulder.” (My 30′ will differ from your 30′ often greatly, so if we talk in rod lengths then you can create a visual…;)


– Get down there ASAP and begin your approach. If the fish is out there, I don’t want you up here.


– As you’re moving into position, free your fly, get it on the water and ensure there’s enough flyline outside of the rod tip so as not have the leader ride back up through the guides.


– Strip the line from your reel BEFORE you begin your cast… (a pet hate is seeing people strip line from their reel every false cast… apart from adding 15 false casts they often pull their rod hand/tip off track and look very gumby along the way… the more time the line is in the air, the higher chance of fluffing things up).


– Check and reposition any hanging line between the reel and the first guide: if it’s wrapped around your feet, or caught on a rock then you won’t get far.


– Pick a target where you want your fly to land, focus on it, and trust yourself to pick up the line, and place it on your target


– Finally catch that line beneath your trigger finger ASAP, and strip any slack line as it develops…


The rest is up to the fish.

Categories: None