Guest Blogger: Brian Sausner

I may not be a great fly fisherman but I’m pretty sure I know a few, and I’m definitely sure I try to talk less and listen more when they talk shop. On a recent trip with some solid guys a few words of wisdom stuck with me. I have rounded up a few observations from a visit to the selective West Branch of the Delaware and its outstanding dry fly water to share with the blog readers. I have always been a guy who will quit a fish after a certain amount of refusals and fly changing. Saying to myself “I don’t have it” or find fault with my presentation or the circumstances impacting it. This guy was a preaching the opposite and had the on water chops that made me listen. He said never leave a rising fish. Don’t assume that there will be more fish working later or the conditions will improve as you move up or down stream. This same gentleman preached letting the fly drag or sink after its drifted feeling that some fish follow it back and take it at the instance where drag begins in fear of losing the meal. The drag free drift is my personal religion more often than not but I do agree that the half drowned dun can be a great fly for fickle fish.

Another solid fisherman and fly tier stocked up heavy on emerger hooks when we got rained off the river and had a fly shop day. He spoke highly of his affection for the BWO emerger as a pattern for selective trout and stated that he ties mostly emergers these days anyway. I have also been moving to more and more emergers and flies with trailing shucks in place of tails. I had my best luck on a hair wing emerger pattern even when the duns were on the water. I confess that the BWO is a fly that I keep stocked but seldom go to in times of failure. As a fly tier I found it useful and semi inspiring when I got a chance to look at what the other fisherman had brought to the stream in their fly boxes. The trip rained out for the second half but I added a few ideas to my tying arsenal. I was glad that people stuck around the cabin despite the bad conditions, maybe it’s not always best to run home to chores and work when talking around the fire is all that the trip has left to offer.

1 Comment

  1. Good points, Brian, tnx; and I think they ring true across the board. In soaring flight they say, “Never, ever, leave a thermal in search of another thermal.” Translated into fly fishing parlance that would be just what you said: “Never give up on a rising fish, in search of another fish.”

    Nice photo too; the mist adds an intriguing contrast against the glassy water and gives the image real depth.

    – Mike

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