Rise Form Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
Vince Marinaro taught me a great deal about the trout’s rise form. Suppose you are looking upstream and spot a rise form as a trout takes a natural dry fly. Over the next several minutes he takes three more naturals at the same spot. The glare on the stream prevents you from seeing the trout but you can easily see his rise form.
You know your artificial matches the hatch so you cast it two feet above the rise form. But you get no strike! However, the trout continues to feed. Several more casts bring no strike. Finally you sneak up the bank to where you can see the trout.
His holding station is actually five feet further upstream from where he rose to take the naturals. You slip back downstream to your original casting position and cast your fly to where you know the trout is holding. As your fly drifts into the feeding station where the trout had take the naturals he rises and takes it solidly.
Since I first encountered this long ago I have taken advantage of it to catch many trout.
Vince referred to these rise forms as Simple, Compound and Complex. A Simple rise form is when the trout takes the natural rights above where he holds in the stream. A Compound rise form is when he drifts straight back downstream from his holding position to take the natural. A Complex rise form is when he tips up, almost vertically, and drifts a long distance below the natural fly before taking it.
What the Trout Sees Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
Vince Marinaro developed flies which looks as much as possible like the real insects to the trout.
While fishing Falling Spring in Chambersburg, PA he explained that mayfly duns rode on their feet. With their bodies high off the water. He said that in this position the dun’s wings were the most visible part of the insect to the trout.
In order to tie a fly that would show the trout this image he suggested tying a dry dun with a broad natural looking wing. The trout would be able to see this wing. So we tied one hackle so it would slope greatly 45 degrees forward on top of the hook . It would also slope 45 degrees greatly to the rear below the hook. The second hackle would slope greatly 45 degrees to the rear on top of the hook shank. It would also slope greatly 45 degrees forward below the hook shank.
This presented a natural clear window so the trout could see the wing and the fly rode delicately on the toes of the hackle.
Vince called this a “thorax” style of hackling a dry fly. Do not confuse this with the thorax term applied to popular dry flies used now. This refers only of the positioning of the hackle.
In order to prove his point about the duns riding on their feet, Vince suggested that I get my head down close to the stream surface during a heavy hatch and look upstream. He wanted me to see how the flies rode on the surface. He was correct!
This method of tying duns is a little difficult to master but I do believe it produces flies which fool very demanding trout.
I have come to rely strongly on Marinaro’s “Puddle Cast” in order to achieve drag free dry fly drifts to fool the trout.
Even though I have been using this cast successfully for many years, ever since Vince showed me how to present it, just this year I have found many special situations in which it has helped me catch many trout that I would not have caught otherwise.
Basically the forward presentation is stopped about thirty degrees above the stream with extra line in the air than is needed to reach the target. The cast is stopped suddenly and the extra line is allowed to fall on the stream in a puddle.
I have been able to extrapolate the refinements of the puddle casts by altering the elevation and angle of the rod and the speed of the line on the presentation.
I have been doing a great amount of experimenting this year with many different casts that are helpful in throwing slack line casts which are very helpful in achieving drag-free drifts with dry flies. These include the curve cast, reach cast, bounce cast and lazy-s cast, just to name a few casts. Vince Marinaro’s puddle casts and several variation were by far the most helpful in getting drag-free dry fly drifts.
One day as Vince and I fished the Letort, I asked him to show me how he was able to get long natural drifts with his “puddle cast”. He made a gentle cast up the Letort and I was amazed at the long natural drift he achieved.
Here is how I use Vince’s puddle cast: On my presentation cast I extend extra line on the forward part of the cast and stop the rod tip at a forty five degree angle over the stream. This allows the line and leader to fall in a puddle of slack line and the fly drift naturally.
I encourage you to read Vince Marinaro’s, Modern Dry Fly Code, written in 1950. It is a masterpiece!