Better Down Stream Presentations & Drifts

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Are you having problems getting a long enough drag-free drift? Photo By: Louis Cahill

How many times have you been trout fishing and spotted a big trout positioned down and across stream of you feeding?

I know I’ve seen it plenty of times on the water, and it always seems like those fish are always positioned just out of reach for me to get a regular cast and drag-free drift over them. Right before my fly reaches the fish, I run out of slack as my fly line comes tight, and I get unwanted drag on my fly. Presenting your flies this way to educated fish can often end up putting them down. If you find yourself in this situation you need to be ready to smoothly and quickly kick out extra fly line out the end of your rod tip during your drift. Executing this properly you’ll be able to maintain enough slack to extend your drag-free drift so your offering can make it to the fish, and have a good chance of being eaten.

I see fly fisherman all the time try to use a shaking motion with their rod tip to kick out extra fly line and extend their drift. Most of the time this doesn’t work very well, because it’s really difficult for you to let out fly line fast enough, and keep your flies from moving all over the place in the process. Watch this video below as I demonstrate how to properly present your fly down and across stream to a feeding trout, and smoothly kick out extra fly line to maintain a drag-free drift. It will take a few minutes for first-timers to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll have the technique mastered forever.

Step 1:  Before you make your presentation make sure you have plenty of extra fly line stripped off the reel.

Step 2:  Shortly after your fly/flies hit the water make a nice mend upstream. This will create a buffer between your fly and the fly line, which is very important for keeping you from moving your fly when you’re kicking out extra fly line, and mending during the later part of your drift.

Step 3:  Make sure you have your fly line in your index and middle finger with the rod so you can run your left hand down the extra fly line of your reel (Do this until your arm comes straight).

Step 4:  You’ll next want to release the fly line in your fingers on your rod hand. This will create a nice loop of slack, which you’ll then immediately mend upstream and let slide out the rod tip.

Step 5:  Repeat Steps 1-4 as many times as you need, to reach the fish downstream of you.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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2 thoughts on “Better Down Stream Presentations & Drifts

  1. Great video! It should also be noted that if the loop is in front of your hand and a fish takes the fly, you’ll need a good strip set to adequately take up that slack. They like to strike at the worst possible time!

  2. I try to keep rod tip up also to maintain a slight sagging line as I maintain the downstream drift. This allows the fish to take the fly in its mouth comfortably before setting the hook. I find if this is not done I get fewer solid hook-up to the fish. I try to maintain a little less than 45 degree angle between the rod and the stream.

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