Friday, March 13, 2009

Fishing the Russian, Part II - Getting the Drift

Let's Review the Cast
The fish you catch will not be the one in front of you. It is sitting 30 to 45 degrees downstream. The line action works like this:
  1. You cast upstream at about 45 degrees.
  2. By the time your line gets directly in front of you, the weight should start bumping. However, at this point, the leader is still in a jumble.
  3. As the line continues downstream, the weight becomes a pendulum that heads in towards shore, thus drawing slack and confusion out of the leader. Also, the leader is drawn down near to the level of the weight.
  4. The end result is a leader that has been drawn perpendicular to the river, not far off the bottom, giving it maximum exposure to any fish that may be lurking as it rakes downstream and gradually in towards the bank.
Seeing is believing
The corollary of the above is that you don't necessarily have to see these fish to catch them, especially if the run is thick. But it sure does help. You will improve dramatically if you can see the line behavior described above and the fish's behavior as it approaches. Pay special notice, however, to the degree to which you can ruin things by trying to manage the process too much. You can ruin a perfectly good cast by trying to force the line into a position when the current would have done perfectly by itself. Also notice how much more difficult it is to catch a fish directly in front of you than one that is a bit downstream, and how the temptation to go for the one that is right in front of you can waste hours of what could have been productive fishing. It is not impossible to manage your line such that it descends and properly unfurls before it has passed the fish directly in front of you, but you would be well advised to catch a few downstream before you try the high wire act.
Next time, we'll talk about trying to keep the fish on the hook.

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