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The dry-fly fisher quite early in his career will learn that success depends not only on the delicacy with which the fly is de livered, but also on the direction of the cast. When a trout, rising to the natural fly, happens to be within his casting distance, he may cast to it from the post he at the moment occupies, or he may change his point of attack, not necessarily in order to approach nearer to the trout, but rather for the purpose of putting himself into a more advantageous position relatively to the fish and the current.

He should review the situation, make his decision as soon as he can - after a little practice and experience his movements will be made almost un consciously or, rather, will appear automatic - and the result will be reflected in his success. In fishing, every' cast should receive all the thought it requires. The spectator who watches an expert industrious and keen during a good rise may conclude that fishing is an easy business requiring no thought, but only a certain manual dexterity; but that is simply because he fails to observe the little changes in position, action and delivery which distinguish the complete angler from the ordinary performer.

For example, a right-handed angler will find it expedient to move so that the rising trout is up stream to his right rather than to his left, for when a cast is made to the left his view is liable to be obscured by the rod, a not unimportant point. A cast straight upstream must result in " lining " the trout, that is to say, the gut must fall above the trout and float down over it; some fish, as we have already seen, know only too well its significance. If, however, by reason of a strong current, broken or clouded water, the gut is not perceived, a rise is a certainty provided the fly falls nicely, and a successful strike follows almost as a matter of course, because the line is tight.

In a deep broad pool having a strong current flowing down the centre, a cast straight across is the best of all for raiding a trout if the flies alight on the current, but only a very small proportion of the raised fish will be hooked, unless of course the fact is known and certain, precautions taken. Such a pool is full of trout, partly because so few are taken out. The wet-fly man, who fishes it precisely as he does other pools, finds in it little reward, unless fingerlings be counted reward, be cause his flies alight in the slack water on the far side, his line Li the centre, where it comes under the influence of the steep current and sticks out the flies at extraordinary speed.

The dry-fly fisher Mill meet with the same fate if he adopts the same tactics, but he will raise a trout at almost every cast if he lays his flies on the current. However, these rises come to nothing, because the wind blowing up or down stream puts such a curve on the line that the strike is invariably late; often a trout may be got, but, if so, it is fairly certain that the angler did not fix the hook.

In a stream of the kind under review, trout will rise within five yards of the angler, who, therefore, should use a very short line, cast it straight across stream, allow the flies to fall on the quickly flowing water and to float not more than a yard, when he should take one step forward, cast again, and so to the head of the pool. For this work we consider two flies infinitely better than one. This is the sort of place where natural rises are often scarce, and yet dozens of trout are waiting and willing. If a rise is missed even with this procedure, a further shortening of the line may bring the welcome resistance at the next offer, but restraint in the power of the answer is required, for, when the line is short the strike is quick.

For the majority of flats and pools, the most profitable direction lies between these two casts, as it combines the advantages of both and reduces their undesirable features. When a fly is presented accurately with a cast up and across stream to a rising fish, little of the gut passes over it, hence the trout is likely to offer and, if the fly has not been given a long journey to perform, this offer should be accepted.

Often the angler will see a trout which is rather beyond his powers to reach, and depth of water may make it impossible for him to reduce by a direct advance the distance between it and himself. Perhaps it is accessible from the opposite bank, and if so, he should, after marking its position clearly, proceed in search of a ford; he may then assail it from close quarters. If this involves a loss of time or expenditure of energy, or is open to any objection, there is another course open to him.

He should try his hand at " shooting the line." If he will pull off another yard from the reel, hold it between the forefinger and thumb of the left hand, and make his usual cast, he will at a certain moment be aware of a distinct pull on the slack line. Had he released his grip at that moment, the line would have shot forward. This is one of the easiest tricks to learn and the secrets of success are: Cast as usual, let go when the line asks for it, and do not attempt to shoot the maximum all at once. In this way the flies can be neatly placed one or two yards beyond the usual distance- experts can shoot several yards - and on occasions facility in this art may prove valuable. As if is possible to deliver more line than may be held up by the; rod, the part shot must be recovered by hand before the back-cast is made. For obvious reasons, the angler when wading must be content with less distance than he who fishes from the bank can command; anyone can cast farther from a height than from the water and, moreover, slack line long enough to reach the water cannot be satisfactorily shot.

Under the heading of tactics we may examine another item of advice that is not uncommonly given to the dry-fly fisher. He is recommended to recover his fly at once if it docs not fall correctly, that is, right side up, and deliver all again. A fly floating n an unnatural position may awake suspicion in a trout, but a fly plucked off the water, however gently t be done, will, we feel convinced, succeed in thoroughly alarming it. If any angler can make, his fly leave the surface in the same delicate way that a sub-imago takes wing, then doubtlessly he will make use of his superlative skill; but ordinary mortals will succeed equally well, if they fish out the cast and then repeat it.

Similarly if the angler makes a mistake in his aim at a certain trout, he should temporarily ignore that fish and allow his fly to complete its voyage. By so doing he ma)7 conceivably lure another trout; but he has less chance of scaring the one that induced him to cast, and it will be waiting for him at the old place when he has finished the unexpected, perhaps undeserved, fight. We have seen, and most anglers have seen, trout rising so close together that the rings intersected as soon as formed and passed down stream in company.

All the time the dry-fly fisher is at work he should be exercising and cultivating his powers of observation, and thinking out his plan of campaign. Many parts of a river capable of producing many trout to a thoughtful angler may yield nothing to another.

As an example, let us consider those little comers which are found in so many waters. The rivers turns almost at. right angles to its course; the main body of water pours along one bank into the next pool and strikes against the opposite bank, while a certain amount trickles over a thin gravelly shallow into a backwater, scooped out in times of flood, fairly deep, practically motionless, very calm, and generally weedy. Such a place, the backwater, is sure to be tenanted with good trout intent on feeding, but very shy and cunning.

If the angler lays his fly according to custom beyond a rising fish, t will, as it floats almost imperceptibly along, be subjected to the most careful scrutiny, and in all probability the imitation will meet with a point-blank refusal. He should therefore stand in readiness until the fish rises again, and at once without a moment's delay he should put the fly on the mark. Accuracy is the supreme requirement; delicacy is not so essential. The fly should not alight in front of the trout but as close as possible to it on one side or another, or even behind it; the fish is aware that something has again arrived for it and turns to snap at it without hesitation. As soon as hooked, the trout bolts for the strong rushing neck, so leaving the back-water and its occupants undisturbed, and it will be surprising ii only one victim is secured from such a troutful place. We have deceived very many fish in this way which, we are perfectly convinced, would not have been taken had any other tactics been employed.

Sometimes trout, especially those which delight to lie beneath the shadow of a high bank, can rise with exceeding quietness, so very quietly indeed that some would fail to observe the disturbance of the smooth surface, so faint it is. Not only so, but if they did mark the slight effect, they might be surprised to know how great its cause. The trout - and any one which rises in this quiet fashion is generally a grand specimen - seems to raise itself gently to the surface and suck down water, fly, and air, all together. The fly vanishes, but marking the place; where disaster overtook it, appears a floating bubble, which may remain stationary for a long time, if the water is still.

The angler, knowing the cause, should watch for these effects, as he proceeds up the pool or arrives at a new one. If he observes an air-bell floating within the shelter of the bank, he should send out his fly to investigate whether it has been left there by a feeding trout. Frequently such a sign has invited us to switch a fly across, and often the raising of a fish has proved - to our satisfaction at least - that our deductions had been correct.

Though it is a rule that a dry-fly must be cast up, or up and across stream, there are notable exceptions. Of these we have already pointed out one, but there is another. Sometimes a trout will take up its feeding station in an awkward, curving comer, or so near a piece of rough water that an upstream cast is foredoomed to failure. A dry-fly can be floated down to a trout by means of a downstream cast, and a very interesting cast it is to execute, highly successful too, if there is sufficient depth of water to afford the angler concealment. Naturally it is of limited application, but nevertheless many a trout has succumbed to these tactics.

Thus it is that dry-fly fishing ran never become dull. Its practice induces, encourages and repays study of all the moods, peculiarities, and surroundings of trout. Every day brings its own problems, and in their solution the angler finds much of his happiness.

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