Tips On the The Trout Set | Bozeman Fly Shop – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Tips On the The Trout Set | Bozeman Fly Shop

Setting the hook seems pretty simple but there are a few tips that when used can increase your hook up and landing of fish rate. Here are five useful hints from our Bozeman Fly Shop that can increase your success when dry fly fishing and nymphing under an indicator.

Rod tip high

1. Minimize Slack Line – line management becomes very important when you lift your rod to sink that fly into a trout’s mouth. If there are large loops or piled up fly line between the tip of your rod and your fly when the set is made it will not move the fly enough to get a hook into the fish. On the contrary, if you are tight lining the fly it will not have a natural drift won’t get eaten in the first place. Nearly every situation will require a different amount of fly line on the water. To find the balance I like to have my fly line as straight as possible while still making sure my indicator or dry fly don’t have any ripples coming off them (no drag).

2. Keep Your Rod Tip Low – Before a fish eats your fly keep your rod tip low so when you do set the hook you will get enough movement out of the fly to get a hook into the trout.

3. Proper Setting Power – The proper power is a balance between setting too hard and too soft. When I trout set, I like the set to be just as hard as a normal back cast. This is very important when fishing from a drift boat. If your indicator goes down or dry fly gets inhaled a normal back cast will be powerful enough to stick the fish but not so aggressive that it will pull the fly out of the fish’s mouth. If you have just hit bottom or missed the fish, you can use this back cast to immediately get your fly back in the water.

4. Directional Sets – More often than not fish are facing up stream while they are feeding. A downstream hook set will drag the fly back and into the trout’s mouth rather than pulling it straight out from the fish’s jaws. For example, the river is flowing left to right. So when I set, I will bring the rod up and angled slightly over my right shoulder. From a drift boat the person in front should set towards the front of the boat. The person in the rear however should still set more or less straight up and down for safety purposes. Your guide or rower will thank you for this.

5. Finger on the Trigger – Before a fish eats it is necessary to have pressure on the fly line. Using a pointer finger to pinch the line onto the cork is the way to go. This ensures that when you do set the hook you will have control of the line when your rod is fully raised. No need to struggle to find a way to swap the line from your off hand to your rod hand in order to strip in excess line. Having full control like this will ensure that you keep the rod bent and pressure on the fish increasing the chances of landing the trout.