A hefty rainbow sits facing the current in a pool behind a bolder, rising on occasion for a morning morsel. You've seen him rise once, twice, and now can't wait to get your dry in front of him. You amble over closer near the pool and cast just to your side of the boulder, allowing your fly to swirl around into the neutral little cranny he's resting in and feeding from. The cast was beautiful, he rises to the occasion for a satisfying slurp . . . He strikes hard - blowing water all over the place - your heart leaps with excitement as you attempt to pull in the slack and set the hook! But before you get to set that hook, he's no longer on, and you've lost another good fish.
And now, you see him once more down there sitting in the same pool, deeper than before - he has returned to base and has spit out your presentation. You cast at least half a dozen times over, trying to call him back in for a snack on the surface, but he doesn't move. And finally you throw what you think is the perfect presentation, one that no fish in its right mind could resist. To do this, you had to inch a little closer to the stream, careful not to cast a shadow. Then, Much to your dismay, that full bodied, fiery red striped rainbow darts away, taking your hopes of another good fish with him.
What went wrong?
After each cast, when you are satisfied with the presentation, pin the line to the cork grip with your index finger, being sure there is no slack in your line in front of your finger. This way, when there is a forceful strike on the other end, the fish will nearly set the hook on himself, making it easier for you to seal the deal.
Otherwise, he just yanked about a foot of slack in your line. And before you can gather yourself to tighten the line and set the hook, he has realized your fly doesn't taste as good as he imagined it would and drops it like it's a hot potato.
97 degree - (Almost) Right Angles
A trout's vision above is centered on the top of its head like a wide cone shape (97 degrees, that is: almost a 📐). The vertex is the point of the triangle that sits on top of the trout's head. Therefore, the deeper he is, the further out he can see. Though you didn't cast a shadow when you inched closer after the trout retreated deeper into the pool, he saw you coming and darted away. Be mindful of the trout's cone-shaped field of vision.
Next time, approach him entirely from behind, because then he will never see you coming and will end up in your net rather than a runaway.
Tight lines and heavy nets,