The Hang-and-Bob matches up well with the Floss
Blow Line. Neither method works without wind,
but the Floss Blow Line is better in heavy wind
and the Hang-and-Bob is better in light wind.
The Blow Line, touching a fly repeatedly on
the surface, is effective when trout are already
feeding on adult insects. The Hang-and-Bob, a
subsurface technique, is deadly when trout feed
at a specific depth.
The Hang-and-Bob is a variation of the Right-Angle
nymphing method used on streams. In Right-Angle
nymphing a tuft of yarn, a bushy strike indicator,
is tied at the end of the leader with an improved
clinch knot. Another piece of monofilament, as
short as six inches or as long as eight feet,
is tied on right above the yarn indicator with
an improved clinch knot. The yarn bobs along on
top of the water and the piece of monofilament
goes straight down into the water at a right
angle and presents the fly to the fish. The big
advantage of the method comes on the strike —
there is no bend in the leader as it goes into
the water to dampen the strike. When a fish sucks
in the fly, the yarn is pulled straight down.
Our group wondered how the right-angle would
work on lakes. Ron Ruddig was the first to try
and he caught trout on Rainbow Lake. Bernie
Samuelson had a fine morning with the hang-and-bob
on Georgetown Lake. Andy Stahl became the
biggest advocate for the Hang-and-Bob after
a spectacular evening on the Hog Hole.
My first chance to try the method on a lake
came at Clark Canyon Reservoir near Dillon.
I paddled my kick boat to the mouth of the
Red Rock River and set up with a breeze at
my back. I cast straight downwind and settled
in for some "bobber" fishing. I thought that
this would be relaxing fishing, with the
occasional trout, but the action was so
steady that I had no chance to relax. Other
fly fishermen on the water came over to look
at the fly, but my success was from the method
not the pattern. Everyone else retrieved nymphs,
wet flies, or streamers, and no one was catching
a lot of fish.
The Hang-and-Bob is bobber fishing with a fly rod:
The Hang-and-Bob works best in a light breeze.
The yarn indicator rides the wavelets, bobbing
up and down, and underwater the fly dances
slowly up and down, too. The fly doesn't leave
the area. It just keeps moving, a target that
eventually teases even reluctant fish into
striking. It's critical to not retrieve the
fly. Any manipulation pulls the fly out of
the area and ruins the effect.
- My preference is a light, soft action rod
(8 foot, 9 inch for a 3-weight, weight-forward
line) that protects the leader tippet on the strike.
- Tie on the main, six-foot, 4X leader and
put a bushy piece of yarn at the end of this
section; then tie a piece of 5X leader material
above the yarn indicator.
- Use a nymph, wet fly or streamer pattern
that is weighted toward the eye, so that with
every up-and-down movement the imitation acts
like a mini-jig. Bead-head patterns are ideal
for this technique.
- Experiment with the depth of the fly,
shortening or lengthening the right angle
section of monofilament.
- Position yourself with the wind at your back.
- Cast downwind and let the "current" pull
all of the slack out of the line.
- Keep the rod tip low to the water and watch
the yarn indicator.
- When the yarn indicator goes down (it
disappears quickly with a take), set the hook
The major challenge with this method is finding
the right depth for the fly. Any imitation works
best when it is moving at the eye level of the
trout. My favorite variation with the
Hang-and-Bob is to put two flies on the
right-angle section of leader spaced about
three feet apart. The distance between the
patterns allows me to test two depths. ~ GL
To be continued, next time: Multiple Roll Cast