Sight Fishing Clear Water: Changing Flies is The Key To Success

I always like visiting different places, especially when I can pick up subtle tricks and techniques from locals and guides, … Continued

I always like visiting different places, especially when I can pick up subtle tricks and techniques from locals and guides, which I can apply on my home waters.

Here, in Argentina, we are sight fishing for large browns and rainbows. Large being 16-24 inches. The water is gin clear. And all the fishing is with dry flies.

What amazes me, however, is just how often (and eagerly) the guides here change flies. In fact, they start the day with about 18-inches of longer tippet, expecting to switch bugs so often. Here, they don’t wait for a refusal to switch bugs. If you make a good cast, and the fly drifts through the run without being eaten, they change. Usually smaller. For example, we’ll start with a hopper…that doesn’t work, it’s an elk-hair caddis…that doesn’t work, it’s a parachute Adams…and if that doesn’t work, “muevete” (we move on, forget the nymphs).

They also change flies as they walk through different waters…riffles get bigger flies, pools get smaller flies. We’re only using a few patterns, so it’s all about size. Size down with more casts, or slower water, and start over again.

I think about how I often insist on sticking with the same bug…as if, after 13 casts, the 14th might be just the ticket. That only works if the fish is so annoyed with your bad casting it relents.

Really, I think I’m being lazy.

Switching bugs is the key to success when sight fishing clear water.