AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Not Drag Free
In Curt Trout's article, "Extending Your Drag-free Drifts" (March 2000), the author's "Extended Loop Technique," though it has some merit, goes against accepted principles of dead-drift nymphing.
Trout points out accurately that, because of streambed irregularities, surface currents travel faster than water near the bottom, and that by mending your line to form a loop downstream of your fly, these faster surface currents keep the leader tight, thus aiding in strike detection. However, because the line and indicator end up downstream of the fly and traveling faster, the fly is towed.
From a nymphing perspective, this is problematic for a few reasons. First, when starting a drift, it takes several seconds and feet of travel for the fly to sink to the desired depth. By starting the drift with a downstream loop of floating line, the towing effect on the fly increases the distance required to get the fly to the desired depth. The strength and speed of the current and the weight used to sink the fly are variables, but the principle remains the same. The longer the fly takes to get down to "the zone," the less time it is available to the fish.
Second, if the fly is towed during the drift, it is not a true dead-drift presentation. Whether this is critical or not remains circumstantial and will vary. For example, during spring and summer on Alaska's Kenai River, where native fish endure long, dark winters with a relatively limited food supply, rainbows and char feed aggressively on salmon eggs to gain weight for a long winter. During these heavy feeding periods, fish take less-than-optimally presented flies. In contrast, fish on the Green, San Juan, or other high-profile river fisheries can be brutally critical of the presentation and demand a true dead-drift.
Finally, because the fly line is on the surface in Trout's technique, the fly is pulled upward during the drift, causing it to leave "the zone" prematurely. This action is similar in concept to the Leisenring lift …