Fishing a two fly rig requires very, very good reflexes and a lot of concentration. If the fish takes the dry fly you have to say the obligatory “God Bless the Queen” before striking or you will pull the fly out of the fishes mouth.
With the emerger take you have to strike exceptionally quickly. If you don’t the fish will have rejected the fly before you strike. With the flies so close together, and such a different striking technique you need very good concentration and technique to successfully connect with the fish.
This video shows some of the techniques described in this series of posts. I get my range and don’t make any more false casts. I wait until the fish rises before casting, even if that means putting the flies down away from the fish. And the fish takes multiple casts because I am not side on or behind the fish. Casting at an angle makes it hard to get the perfect presentation.
I find that I do a lot better with my hook up rates if I visualise both forms of take before I go fishing. I do a lot of visualisation and it seems to sharpen up my reflexes when I am on the river.
Once you have hooked the fish there are some relatively basic principles to fighting it. The most important is to try to stay down stream of the fish at all times. If you are upstream of the fish at some point it will turn up stream and you will be pulling the fly in the opposite direction to the way it went into the fishes mouth and there is a high chance of losing it.
I do not fish with a net, so I am often trying to land a fish by hand in the middle of the river, which requires getting the fishes head out of the water and getting it close enough to tail. If I am on the bank I will beach the fish, which is always the best option.
I. Fishing the Evening Rise | II. Flies | III. Strategy | IV. Strategy II | V. The Take & Playing the Fish | VI. A Parachute that Floats | VII Smith Creek Rig Keeper | VIII. Tying on Flies in Low Light