Formula for Systematizing Your Cast for a Perfect Drift
The Perfect Drift Scenario - Sacrificial Zone, Sight Zone, Feeding Zone Formula (SSF)
Sacrificial Zone = Landing the fly far enough in front of the fish that it is not yet within their line of vision. You do not present far enough ahead that you line-spooke them, and a short section of the presentation can be sacrificially poor. The primary desire is to set up your fly so that it enters and exits the Sight Zone and the Feeding Zone in a perfect drift.
Sight Zone = The first Fishing Zone. The area in which a fly comes into the fish's sight but before they strike. The presentation of the fly has to be drifting properly by the time it enters this stage of the drift. This way, the target fish can take action on it without being weary or having hesitation.
Feeding Zone = The space in which you believe the fish will eat the fly it has sighted. An area that is determined through observation and can be defined as how far a fish will move to feed on the fly. I think of this as a “sphere of opportunity.” In all directions, how far are you observing that the fish will move to eat? Ahead, below, left, right, up, or down are all in consideration.
Technical Example: Use a "wiggle cast" to position your line with additional slack between you and your fly. Allowing the presentation to provide a drag-free drift for longer durations and through the Feeding Zone of the fish.
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By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast