Although we often use drag when fishing a swung wet fly or a streamer, most
times you want to avoid it, especially when fishing dry flies and nymphs.
Trout mainly eat helpless insets drifting in the current and only a few
types are strong swimmers. Drag is not always as obvious to us, 40 feet
away, as it is to a trout just inches from a drifting fly. Dag can be quite
subtle, but if you know you're fishing over trout, you have the right fly
pattern because you've caught fish on that fly earlier, and you don't get
any strikes, then you should suspect drag. Just as often, when you cast a
dry fly at a trout and the trout splashes at the fly, but seems to miss it,
drag is probably the culprit. Trout are pretty good at catching what they
go after, and that splashy refusal is probably just the trout putting on
the brakes at the last minute, and not really opening its mouth.
Mends don't always work that well, because they sometimes move the fly and
you don't always want a fly to move. Another way to reduce drag is called a
reach cast, which is really nothing more than an aerial mend.
Here we have a perfect setup for what's called a reach cast. We need a
reach cast here; we got fast water between us and the fish, slower water
over there. The minute the fly line hits the water, the fly's going to
drag. It's going to pull the fly downstream and the fish aren't going to
take it, so what we're going to do here is a reach cast, to throw a loop
We're going to get the fine points on the reach cast from Pete, our casting
instructor, a bit later on. For now, I just want to show you how it's one
thing in your bag of tricks to avoid drag.