Okay, let’s see who’s on top of their game, and ready for the spring baetis hatches. Here’s a situation that should be part of any introduction to guide training… No prizes for correct answers, just the satisfaction of knowing your prowess as a trout magnet grows exponentially with every minute you diddle away on Fly Talk. I’ll give the answer, along with the caption contest winner, on Friday.

Kirk and Tim are fishing the Arkansas River on a perfect spring day… warm temps, some overcast… the mayflies are starting to hatch like crazy. Sure enough, Tim sees trout heads poking up and eating off the surface, all along a run. “You go first,” Kirk said, because he is an exceptionally warm-hearted person who yields to Tim’s limited fishing ability out of pity.

Tim makes a cast from a great angle, the fly (a size #16 blue-winged olive parachute) lands perfetly, right upstream from where a big brown trout had just eaten. Sure enough that brown pops back up to the surface, scrutinizes Tim’s fly… he’s gonna eat it… but no! Off he swims. It was an obvious refusal. Not a miss. Not a maybe. A straight refusal. Mr. Brown gave Tim the fin.

“I don’t understand it, those fish are definitely eating olives,” Tim said, as he wound up for another cast.

“Wait, wait,” Kirk interrupted. “Let’s make one simple adjustment before you cast again.”

And after only one adjustment, two minutes later, Tim made the same cast, and the same fish came up and ate the fly.

What was the one adjustment they made?