When to go with a floating pattern ?

Leland has a good point.
I always enjoy fishing a river for trout first using dries and then target them with wet patterns if I don't get any results..
I enjoy the suprise I get when they smash the fly at the surface..

Richard E

Active Member
Man, there's a bunch of good stuff in here (except Crawford's response to Chris's, er, Topwater's advice). Topwater's boat (past, now, sad to say) has brought to hand more coho in one day than most beach fishers will catch in a year, or caught in a year more than what most beach fishers will catch in a lifetime. Crawford, heed his advice.

It's kind of like that old question and answer of "When is the best time to fish"?; "When you can."

Lots of good stuff in this thread.

PS I like to fish behind those folks who are fishing with a popper.

Bob Balder

Willing to learn anything...
Holy smokes Leland, you hopped on that and look what you started. Nice job!
I can assure you that my next trip out will start with a popper,this seems to be great advice.
Of course, I have absolutely no idea how to cast one of those things, I do, however, have a fairly good mental image of what that first hour may look like. That in itself is a daunting thought.
Maybe I'll head down to the park for a little practice before flailing away at the beach. Should you read about some guy hooking a dog in a city park, you will know it was me.

What great thread this is, the light bulb just may have come on, however dim, I have hope.:)

I will report back with my findings.


Active Member
it does.

the simple answer for when you want to fish a floating pattern is when you want to catch a fish on a popper.:D.
This is all true. And here's the more drawn out cynical answer. Something new or even intermediate fishers don't understand about "pros" is that they don't necessarily need to catch alot, or even a fish to enjoy themselves or test how a line, rod, or new patterns swims. I've been there myself on a number of waters. Throwing the right fly at the right time in the right place = fish. Gets pretty dull. Throwing a less effective but visually exciting pattern becomes a viable alternative. Having the fish follow or slash is good enough. You don't necessarily need to touch the fish to know you could have caught it.

I don't need to fish the upper or lower sacramento in California anymore. I know where they are, and I know what they'll take. "yup, I was right"... "yup, I was right"... "yup, I was right"... How many times do you need to hear that in your head before you've heard it enough? Baja? It's hard to get excited about that. I've lead enough trips that fishing over a school of tuna or dorado isn't that big a deal. Sounds jaded and like a total asshole to someone who hasn't been, but think of a stretch of water you absolutely own. Do you go there all the time or do find yourself going to other more challenging water? If you go there all the time there's nothing wrong with that of course. We're just built different. Neither one of us is better...

The popper can transform water you own into an action movie. You can sit back and watch things unfold. A nervous fish following for 20 feet making 3 or 4 rushes that don't even disturb the water's surface before finally committing, or blowing it off... That's some exciting stuff if you've touched enough fish in your lifetime.

Bob Balder

Willing to learn anything...
iagree Absolutely, there are places for me ( in fresh water) that can be pretty automatic when the conditions are right, and predictably, when conditions are not spot on, it just takes a few minutes to get dialed in. I think this is one of the reasons that I am attracted to the salt, it prsents an entirely new challenge to me. My only other salt water experience is at Christmas Isand, I do not tire of catching Bones or Trevalle (sp), but that is about casting, in my view. If you can get the right fly in front of a Bonefish without spooking him, chances are you are in for a pile of fun. Trevalle are exciting as well, they just wear me out from stripping like a mad man.
To me the essence of the sport is aquiring knowledge in order to be succesfull, one can never know enough.
I will continue to wade out there, beat the water into submission and pay my dues until I figure it out, that is half the fun. All of this makes me want to retire next week to have more time available. With a daughter to get through college and a mortgage.........that will have to wait, not too long but it will have to wait.