Better Highsticking Video

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Louis Cahill

When fishing nymphs, highsticking is a fundamental skill that every angler needs.

The best way to achieve a drag free drift, when nymphing, is to use a technique called highsticking. Highsticking keeps your line completely off the water, eliminating any chance for drag. When done properly, it not only gives you a perfect drift but also puts you in a good position to make a fast and effective hook set.

There are a couple of key things about highsticking, which beginners frequently miss. The first is the mend. When you cast your flies upstream, it’s important to make a good initial mend that moves your Indecator. Many anglers are conditioned to be fearful of moving their indicator when mending but on this first mend its crucial. By moving the indicator upstream you are taking the tension off of your flies and allowing them to sink much faster. This puts you at your desired depth for your full drift.

It’s also important to keep the angle of your rod low enough that you have an ample range of motion to set the hook. Making the perfect drift doesn’t help if you have no where to go when the fish eats.

Highsticking isn’t just for nymphing. There are plenty of times when highsticking dry flies or dry dropper rigs is very effective. It’s a great skill to have.

Check out this video for more tips on getting the perfect drift.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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2 thoughts on “Better Highsticking Video

  1. A long rod can be helpful in this situation, not only for line control, but a longer rod picks up more line and strikes faster on the hook set. The tip of a 10 or 11 foot rod moves farther and faster than the tip of a 9 foot rod on the hook set. Definitely helps when you are setting the hook with your rod already up high.

  2. Great video.

    If there is enough weight on your nymph you don’t need the indicator.

    Then it’s direct contact between your rod and fly.

    Very effective!


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