Rapids Camp Lodge head guide, Tom Provost, is no newbie to swinging flies for trout and today he fills us in on how he targets trout during the most neglected part of the swing, the hang down.
Swinging for Trout – The Hang Down Drop-Back
When swinging for trout or other aggressive species, the dirtiest trick I use while swinging flies comes during the “hang down” portion of the presentation. In fact, at times I use it for most every species I swing flies for.
First off, at the end of each swing I always assume a fish has followed the fly around on its shore-ward swing. When the fly slows and hangs down, I do what I call the hang down drop-back. I slowly strip in a couple feet of fly line, then drop the slack. This slowly brings the fly away from a following fish. Then, I simply drop the line and let it fall slack until it comes tight again. The fly opens up and dies backwards to the fish. When it comes tight again, it goes back to the same look it had before. If it is weighted, it does a little dance. The moment it comes tight again I hang on!
With a spey rod, I use the rod hand to achieve the same action by finishing into the hang down with the rod tip extended toward the fish. Then, I slowly pull the rod tip up river past my hip and drop the whole rod back to the fish quickly. Note: I always fish my line to the reel, with the drag set appropriately to set the hook. I keep the rod pointed down the line, that way, I’m able to take the tip out of the equation.