The sink-and-draw retrieve is accomplished by allowing the fly to sink to the desired depth and then by retrieving upwards toward the surface. Hatching insects naturally migrate toward the surface so this sink-and-draw retrieve simulates this action.


Skating a fly over the surface can attract fish from a larger area. Making the fly hop, skip, and skitter are desirable motions.

Slide Method

The straightened leader is vulnerable to mini-turbulences which may cause unnoticed drag. Employing a long, flexible tippet helps correct this fault.

Sound Vibrations

Fish have a special sensory organ located in their lateral line. With this organ fish can detect underwater sounds and disturbances.

Speckle-Wing Quill

Spring Creeks

A spring creek originates from an underground source—a spring. Because of their gentle gradients, spring creeks are generally flat and smooth; they are found in valley floors rather than in steep canyons.


The constant temperature and rich oxygen content of spring water attracts fish in both cold and warm weather times. As a result areas around underwater springs provide prime fishing since they can draw exceptionally large numbers of fish.

Still Water Characteristics

Each lake is unique. Most of a lake’s water is barren because its fish seek specific areas to reside.

Still Water Dead Drift

Simply cast to the desired target area and strip in the excess slack line; carefully watch the fly. Some animation is helpful and is furnished by a “sudden inch” struggling movement.

Still Water Exposure


The quickness of the stop influences both line speed and loop size. Slow stops create open loops with slow speeds; however, sudden stops create narrow loops with high speeds.


Once a beginning fly fisherman has experienced these various lies on a small stream, he (she) is ready to fish the larger streams. Fish the larger stream as a group of small streams adjacent to each other.

Stream Characteristics Exposure

Stream Characteristics

Streams are classified into three basic categories: spring creek, freestone, and tail water streams. Each type has unique features.


Streamers are effectively fished by combining a strip or a pull retrieve with the wet fly swing, grease line, modified wet fly swing, or lead core swing. Sometimes the skating retrieve is used.

Strike Indicator - Nymph Fishing

Nymphs are effectively fished in a natural dead drift motion just above the stream’s bottom structure. Here the current velocity is much slower than at its surface.

Strip Retrieve

The line is grasped between the thumb and first finger of the line hand and stripped in a down and backward motion. Next, release the grasp on the line and return the line hand back to its original position.


Structure is anything that furnishes holding cover. Logs and fallen trees enhance an area by providing cover.


The most common error is to over-do the retrieve by making the motions excessively fast and long. Insects are small and their motions are subtle; moreover, they proceed for shorter distances and at a slower rate than fishermen envision.


Surface Film

Surface film tension is the property of a liquid by which it acts as if its surface is a stretched elastic membrane. This tension allows insects to stand on the water’s surface.

Surgeon’s Knot

This knot quickly joins 2 leaders of equal or unequal diameters. It can also provide a dropper if one of its tags ends is left untrimmed.

Surgeon’s Loop

This knot makes a fast loop. It is useful for loop-to-loop connections.

Table of Retrieves


Tail Water Streams

Tail water streams are found below dams and their water source flows from the reservoir. The outlet comes from controlled head gates which release water out from the bottom of the dam; as a result, the most dense and coldest water is released.

Tailing Loop/Sudden Stop

A tailing loop is one that drops the upper line down to intersect the lower line. Occurring on either the forward or backcast, tailing loops are undesirable because casting efficiency is lost and tangles and wind knots are created.

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