Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The DFD and Hooksets are Free!

As our region’s stream trout have now smartened up from your  fall angling pressure, it’s a perfect time for this reminder: 

a drag-free drift (DFD) will get you more looks and eats. Here are some DFD tips for everyone, especially our newer fly anglers.

First,  pick fly patterns you believe in. Wes’ weekly hot fly list is a great place to start. After that, adjust the amount of split shot and the height (depth) of your indicator above your fly. Try a height of 1.5 times the estimated water depth of the spot you’re fishing. Adjust the Indi as needed when you change spots.  Change flies only after giving your first choices some good drifts through some prime pools and runs.

Second, read the water and find a seam, the line between a fast and slow current.  Then cast a short distance up into the seam and let your indi rig drift along that seam, back toward you. Make sure your indi drifts along just like an adjacent leaf or bubble: at the same speed and in the same “lane” (direction of flow) The indi should also “tick” occasionally to show that your rig bumps the bottom a few times on its downstream journey.

Hooksets are free, so use them often. Every 10th “rock” might just be a fish! I prefer to set sidearm, downstream. If it’s a miss, I can continue that drift. If it’s a bad miss, I can retrieve my flies from the low streamside branches behind me and get back in the game quickly.

Want a demo?

Here’s a rerun of our Nov 2019 trip with of my buddy, Sautee, drifting well on Nantahala DH.  

Flyfishing vets, what other tips would you care to share with our newcomers?

We hope these tips produce more reasons for you to be thankful this month. Don’t forget your net and your friend with good photography skills. Good luck from our UO gang. Stop by either store for supplies and timely intel.

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