Fishing Tips for Northern California and Southern Oregon angling
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How to Fish a Dry Fly

By Art Teter
Every year I see guys fishing a dry until they have pounded the water to death with very little success. Sometimes, it is something as simple as (and you have all heard me say this before) just ‘paying attention.’

Take a close look at the fish that you are fishing to. Is he really eating a dry, or is he feeding so close to the surface that he is breaking the water? Start by tying the nymph to the dry that you are fishing, and swing it on a long leader in front of the fish. Look to make sure that when you see the fish feeding you can see his mouth or head. Otherwise, is it a smutting rise. This could be the difference between spooking the fish and catching him. Watch him…don’t just keep casting to him every time you see him. Give the fish a break - watch for a pattern to the fish rising, and if so, try to take advantage of it. By all means, give him a little room - this will allow you to determine if you need to cast just one foot in front of him or if you need to lead him by five to ten feet.

The two most common mistakes I see anglers make when fishing dry is casting too close to the fish (letting the line pound down on his head) and casting so far above him that everyone falls asleep before the fly gets there! If you want to learn more about this just give me a call at (530) 336-6110, email me at or visit my website More Intermountain/Hat Creek fishing.

[Editor's Note: Please share with our readers what you know that will enhance the experience of wetting a line in Northern California or Southern Oregon waters. What have you learned? Your expertise, no matter where you fish (fresh or saltwater) or what species you target, could be invaluable to other anglers. What not to do is just as important as what to do. Please send your strategies, ideas, tips, techniques and personal experiences to Please include your name and hometown.]

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