Looking at the illustration, you begin
to realize all the fish shown have one thing in common.
All the fish are facing the same direction. That direction
is upstream, or into the current. Fish that would face
downstream would all eventually end up all the way downstream.
As in the ocean.
Fish face upstream because that is
where their food comes from. Think of it as being in a
dining room, and the waitress bringing you a plate of
food — but the food is hanging in the air above the plate.
That is what the fish have, a moving
dinner plate. The food comes to them floating on the surface
of the water and they have to make the decision to take that
food in a split second. Wait too long and it has floated past
them. And if the fly you offer doesn't look like the food the
fish has been eating? You probably won't get the fish to
take your fly.
Next time: what do they eat anyway?
Thanks to Clive Schaupmeyer for excerpt use
of his book The Essential Guide to Fly-Fishing, A
Comprehensive Guide for Beginner and Intermediate
Fly Anglers. Available in bookstores or directly
from Clive. Clive
lives in Brooks, Alberta. He is a member of the Outdoor
Writers of Canada. He fishes throughout Alberta and has
fished in the Northwest Territories, B.C., Saskatchewan,
New Brunswick and Montana.
Have a question? Email me!