The trout in the mountain streams in Virginia are coming up well to the hatches now and you can get great action with dry flies. There is a three step challenge for us here: First we must select a fly that will match the hatch, then we must identify the feeding stations and finally we must get a natural drift. When these steps are done correctly you are almost assured of a take and you know you have mastered this method. Fighting and landing this trout is purely secondary and requires little skill. For this reason I developed the “pop strike” many years ago. When the trout takes my dry fly I hook him quickly but then I instantly drop the rod to reduce the tension on the trout. This way I know I fooled him, but the majority become unhooked quickly and are thus not stressed.