Fall often brings lower water levels in the Big Thompson and changing your fishing technique to fit the season can really help transform your fishing success. Today, we’ll take a look at the dead drift technique, so you can be better prepared to hit the water in times of slow current and low water levels.

What is Dead Drift?
dreamstime_2277480This technique is used to make nymphs and dry flies look as natural as possible in order to fool the often wary trout of the Big Thompson. Rather than letting the fly land on the water for a few seconds and reeling it back in, the dead drift technique allows the fly to rest on the water for an extended period of time. Trout are, in a sense, ambush predators and will wait for insects to drift by on the surface of the water. Dead drift appeals to their natural instincts.

How it’s Done
Remember, the goal is to make your dry fly look as much like a living insect as possible. You want the nymph to rest on the water, flowing at the same speed as the current without any drag from the line. Begin by casting slightly upstream. Lift the rod up slightly so that only a small amount of line is in the water. This will minimize the risk of drag while the dry fly sits on the surface of the water. Let the fly drift with the current naturally. Cast again and repeat the process.

Dead drifting is not the easiest technique to master, but it can be one of the most successful for catching trout. If you’re interested in improving your fishing technique, or wish to introduce a friend to the sport, register for a guided fly fishing trip in Estes Park. Our experienced guides will take you to the best honey holes on the Big Thompson and are always happy to offer advice and tips to improve your fishing experience. Contact us today for more information!