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ORVIS – Dealing with A Downstream Take

When a trout turns around and takes your fly swimming downstream, hooking them can be difficult. Dave and Amelia Jensen have a great trick to help you hook more of these elusive fish.

If you’re interested in learning more fly fishing techniques, skills, and tools, you can check out our other instructional resources at this link. “ORVIS – Dealing with A Downstream Take” is a video by The Orvis Company that addresses the challenge of hooking trout when they turn around and take your fly swimming downstream. In this instructional resource, Dave and Amelia Jensen demonstrate a useful trick for increasing your success in hooking these tricky fish. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fly fisher, missing out on the slow and easy take of a solid trout can be frustrating. While it is common to envision trout facing various directions while feeding, it is essential not to overlook their ability to lunge upstream at large food items or drop down to follow food. Understanding how trout respond to food landing downstream or searching downstream will greatly improve your hookup success. The key lies in recognizing that their mouths are facing you and the take is typically slow. This means that you cannot be a bystander when the fish comes at you, as line control becomes challenging and excessive slack in your rod tip can impede a successful hook set. The hook set needs to be deliberate, allowing the trout to rise, take your fly, allow the head to go back under the water, and then turn before setting the hook. This is where the phrase “God save the queen” comes into play, representing the amount of time it takes for a brown trout’s head to rise, take your fly, go back into the water, and turn its head. By understanding that trout are attracted to vibrations and knowing when to use them and when to be deliberate with your hook set, you can significantly improve your chances of success.

ORVIS – Dealing with A Downstream Take

ORVIS - Dealing with A Downstream Take

Overview of the Downstream Take

When fly fishing for trout, one of the most exhilarating moments is the downstream take. This occurs when a trout, located downstream from the angler, takes the fly and begins to move upstream. It requires precision, skill, and a deep understanding of trout behavior. In this article, we will explore the intricacies of the downstream take and discuss strategies to successfully hook and land these elusive fish.

Understanding Trout Behavior

Before diving into the specifics of dealing with a downstream take, it is crucial to understand the behavior of trout. Trout are known for their cautious and selective feeding habits. They possess incredible vision and can easily distinguish between natural and artificial flies. Furthermore, trout are often found holding in slower water areas, such as eddies, in order to conserve energy. Keeping these behaviors in mind will greatly improve your chances of successfully catching trout.

Importance of Vibration and Timing

When dealing with a downstream take, one of the key factors to consider is the importance of vibration and timing. Trout rely heavily on their lateral lines to detect movement and vibrations in the water. By imparting action to your fly, you can create vibrations that will attract trout and increase the likelihood of a take. Additionally, timing plays a crucial role. It is important to present the fly in a realistic manner and time the hook set perfectly to ensure a solid connection with the fish.

Proper Line Control

Maintaining proper line control is essential when dealing with a downstream take. As the trout takes the fly and begins to move upstream, you must ensure that there is no slack in the line. Slack can result in a missed hook set or even a broken line. By staying connected to the fish and keeping a tight line, you will be ready to execute a successful hook set when the right moment arises.

Recognizing the Right Moment to Set the Hook

Recognizing the right moment to set the hook is a crucial aspect of successfully landing a trout during a downstream take. It is important to wait for the trout to fully commit to taking the fly before setting the hook. This can be identified by a slight pause in the movement of the fly or a more pronounced tug on the line. Patience and attentiveness are key in determining the optimal time to set the hook.

Using Terrestrial Season to Your Advantage

During the terrestrial season, when insects such as grasshoppers or beetles are abundant near water bodies, trout tend to be more aggressive in their feeding behavior. This presents an excellent opportunity to capitalize on a downstream take. By imitating these terrestrial insects with your fly selection, you can entice trout to take the fly more aggressively, increasing your chances of a successful hook set.

Placing a Controlled Cast

In order to effectively deal with a downstream take, it is important to place a controlled cast. This involves accurately presenting the fly upstream of the trout, allowing it to naturally drift towards the fish. By avoiding any unnecessary line movement and ensuring a drag-free drift, you create a realistic presentation that is more likely to entice a take. A controlled cast provides the foundation for a successful downstream take.

Maintaining Line Control

Throughout the drift, it is essential to maintain line control. This is accomplished by carefully managing the tension in the line and adjusting the position of the rod tip as needed. By staying connected to the fly and maintaining a direct line to the fish, you are prepared to react quickly and efficiently when the trout takes the fly. Line control is a fundamental element in successfully dealing with a downstream take.

Allowing the Trout to Take the Fly

When the trout takes the fly during a downstream take, it is important to resist the urge to immediately set the hook. Instead, allow the trout to take the fly fully into its mouth before reacting. This ensures that the hook is properly set in the trout’s mouth, increasing the chances of a secure hook-up. By practicing patience and restraint, you maximize your chances of successfully landing the fish.

Executing the Hook Set

Once the trout has fully taken the fly, it is time to execute the hook set. This should be done with a swift and firm upward motion of the rod while simultaneously stripping in any excess slack line. The goal is to firmly embed the hook in the trout’s mouth, ensuring a solid connection. It is important to remain focused and reactive during the hook set to prevent any missed opportunities.

The Importance of the ‘God Save the Queen’ Method

The ‘God Save the Queen’ method is a popular technique used by anglers to ensure a successful downstream take. This method involves allowing the trout to turn away and move upstream with the fly before setting the hook. By waiting until the trout has turned away, there is a higher chance of hooking the fish in the corner of the mouth, which results in a more secure hook-up. This method is particularly effective when dealing with trout during a downstream take.

In conclusion, successfully dealing with a downstream take requires a combination of skill, knowledge, and patience. By understanding trout behavior, implementing proper line control, recognizing the right moment to set the hook, and utilizing techniques such as the ‘God Save the Queen’ method, anglers can greatly increase their chances of landing trout during a downstream take. With practice and a deep respect for the fish, you can master this exhilarating aspect of fly fishing and experience the thrill of a successful hook-up.

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