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Saturday, August 2, 2008

High Stickin'

Well, I learned about a technique today called "High Stickin'." I heard about it from the legendary Hugh Hartsell himself. Apparently the method is used to keep the fly moving naturally within the riffles that trout feed in. This is the technique from my understanding: Cast above the riffle being certain not to leave too much slack in the line. Too much slack means you won't be able to detect the subtle strike of the smaller trout that live in the Smokey's. I think it helps with all trout as well. If you feel you have left too much slack in the line, retrieve a bit with your line hand and lift the rod up in the air so that it pulls out the excess slack. After the fly lands in or on the water, you use the elevation of the rod to keep the slack out, retrieving line with your line hand if you can, all the while the fly is flowing down stream to your location. As the fly moves toward you, you will experience more and more slack. As you keep the slack out and have your rod tip raised high, move the tip of the rod so that it follows the flow of the riffle. If the fly flows to your left with the riffle, move your rod tip to the left. If it flows right, move the rod tip right etc (all the while retrieving line...Yeah, it doesn't sound too easy, but they say it helps you catch more fish). You don't want to move the rod tip opposite the flow of the riffle because this will cause the fly to move against the current giving it an unatural look and the whole purpose of high stickin' is to keep the line tight, so as to detect subtle strikes, while giving the fly or nypmh a natural apperance as it flows through the riffles of the stream.

1 comment:

David Knapp said...

High stickin' is one of the deadliest techniques for catching trout in the Smokies, especially under "normal" water conditions, i.e. not too low... Definitely something worth becoming proficient at...