We've all done it - you make a gorgeous cast out to a prime fishing spot on the river, your fly sinks down and starts a nice, natural drift, then suddenly you feel a tug: GOLLY! IT'S A BIG ONE!
Then, those two seconds or so of excitement are gone in an a poof as you realize you've snagged a log or that you're hung up on the wrong side of a rock. Maybe you're using a your favorite streamer pattern - one that took you an hour to tie just right! What a bummer! Many fisherman would clip the line and start all over again, but, especially for fly fisherman, there is sometimes another way out - one that will allow you to keep that treasured, sparkling clowser minnow or home-tied deer hair crayfish. The good thing about getting hung while fly fishing is that we are often wading the river, and that allows us to get very close to the point at which the fly is stuck.
If you don't know this trick, it will change your (fishing) life. If the water isn't extremely deep and the current isn't terribly strong, this method works every. single. time.
Now, paying careful attention to your rod tip - seeing that it does not get broken or damaged - pull all the slack out of your fly line; then, continue pulling down past the leader section and slowly ease the tip of the rod all the way down the the exact spot where your fly is lodged. Next, give the tip a jiggle or two. Note: You want to get the very last guide (the ring on the tip of the rod) as close to the fly as possible, even to the point of touching it. If you successfully jiggle the tip in any necessary direction while it is very close to or is touching the lodged fly, it will just about always free the fly from the clutches of that pesky fishing obstacle. Remember, though, to be extra careful when doing this with your fly rod, you paid way too much for it to break it off for one little fly! So, take it slow and be as precise as possible.
A close family friend taught me this trick many years ago, and it has been one of the most useful tips I have learned in all of my years of fishing. If it was new to you, I hope it will be just as helpful in all of your fishing adventures.
Thanks for reading.