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  1. #1
    Rambler23's Avatar
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    Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    What's up Friends,

    Over the past two weekends I've begun to notice a trend. Maybe it's where I've been fishing, but the data has not lied to me.

    I've been fishing a small wild trout stream that is predominately pocket water, one of those gorgeous places where it seems like every pocket is holding a fish or two. Given the narrow, wooded landscape, I've found it easier to cast up stream primarily, with the eye of the hook facing downstream once it hits the water. Using mostly small stimulators and mayfly attractors, I get a few strikes here and there. However, when I'm able to get in position to cast downstream into a pocket, with the eye of the hook facing upstream, I've noticed that the number of strikes I've been getting are significantly greater.

    An actual fly floating on the surface almost always has its head facing upstream if I'm not mistaken.

    So I thought I'd throw it out there, do you guys think it makes a difference to the fish which direction a fly is facing when it hits the water?

    Wade in the water, you'll never get wet if you keep on doin' that rag


  2. #2
    PRomano's Avatar
    PRomano is offline Fishizzle, I never use worms!
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    I always present my dry flies from up and across whenever possible (casting downstream as you would say). It's not a matter of the fish seeing the head or tail of the fly; it's that the fly comes into the fishes vision before your leader or shadow does.

    "The great charm of fly fishing is that we are always learning." Theodore Gordon



  3. #3
    Randyflycaster's Avatar
    Randyflycaster is offline Catch & Release Wild Trout
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    When fishing weighted nymphs I tend to fish more downstream because if I get hung up it's easier to free my fly.

    Randy


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    Stimulator's Avatar
    Stimulator is offline So much water.....So little time.
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    It probably has more to do with drag and as Pete said the fact they see the fly before the leader.

    In pocket water or any other time where the currents are mixed you can get a better drag free drift by fishing downstream. As your fly enters the slower water of the pocket, the fast currents are pushing slack to the fly as opposed to pulling on it.


  5. #5
    NJpatbee's Avatar
    NJpatbee is offline Can be found on NJ/NY/PA waters!
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    It totally depends on the technique I am using or the water conditions. For weighted nymphs and mayfly hatches with good water flows, usually upstream. For Fluttering Caddis, Soft-Hackles, and finicky trout in clear water with dry flies, I prefer downstream. For some of the small WTS streams, whatever it takes to get the fly to the fish in tight cover.

    NJPB

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    Rambler23's Avatar
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    That's a good point, I probably should have considered that.

    One thing I was thinking about doing for the next time I head to this spot is trying to tie up a few reverse body style flies to see if that makes any difference at all

    Wade in the water, you'll never get wet if you keep on doin' that rag


  7. #7
    brough's Avatar
    brough is offline get out and go fishing
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    I think that NJpatbee pretty much summed up how I plan approach and cast to the fish. The type of water and technique really dictate what kind of cast you need.

    Rambler, I mess around w/ reverse ties for the olives that are so prevelent around here. I always kind of thought that they were affective simply because they were something new for the heavily pressured fish to see. Never really thought about the direction of the fly. Something new to keep an eye on.

    Have a Good One All

    GTFOAGF

  8. #8
    Joe D's Avatar
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    Down & across is my preferred presentation when possible. Your observation about the direction the fly is facing is a good one and one made by others too.

    Most often a fly faces into the current and the fish are used to seeing it this way. That becomes what it recognizes as food.

    I have a friend who is an Atlantic salmon guide who is insistent that a fish won't hit (or seldom hits) a downstream facing fly, regardless of the direction from which it's presented. Now salmon aren't feeding per se, but what they hit is believed to be a vestigial behavior stemming back to their life as parr.

    "I think I fish, in part, because it's an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution." John Gierach

    www.FlyFishTheDelaware.com


  9. #9
    Rusty Spinner's Avatar
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    I'm a down and across guy myself. But that would be blasphemy on an English chalk stream. I just like the fact that I can overcast to my target and drag my fly into exact position without the fish seeing my flyline or leader/tippet. That's something you can't do casting upstream. One of many reasons I prefer down and across.

    Wild rivers are earth's renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning. — Richard Bangs & Christian Kallen, River Gods

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    coolkyle's Avatar
    coolkyle is offline De nalgas!
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    I like shooting streamers upstream and stripping them back to me really quickly. It works only when the streamer fishing is good, but the biggest fish seem to go for it.


  11. #11
    golden beetle's Avatar
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    Upstream with dry flies.


  12. #12
    Rusty Spinner's Avatar
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    Re: Casting Direction- Upstream vs. Downstream

    Quote Originally Posted by golden beetle View Post
    Upstream with dry flies.
    A traditionalist I see. You'd do well in England

    Wild rivers are earth's renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning. — Richard Bangs & Christian Kallen, River Gods

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