William Tell Overture

CoverThe rainbow trout, a good one, rises deliberately and persistently in a quick current beneath an overhanging limb just a few feet away. Another tree, close behind, prevents even the wildest thought of a backcast. The solution? Get a firm grasp on the fly, taking care to avoid the barb, and hold it low to the water. Now, keeping the fly rod tight in the other hand, thrust the rod tip forward with maximum bend while still holding the fly. Next, release the fly quickly while flicking the rod tip forward. The fly will shoot ahead to the full extension of the loose leader, dip neatly beneath the branch, and settle lightly into the feeding lane. The unsuspecting trout, a fish that never could have been approached any other way, eagerly slurps the fly. Most veteran anglers know this as the bow-and-arrow cast, and it works in more situations than you can imagine. Practice it, and you’ll be able to present your fly accurately in many tight situations. —C.M.