High-Sticking is a very common, and intuitive strategy anglers use in waters that have whirlpools, boils, undertows, and a variety of mixed seamlines. We High-Stick to keep our line on or near the surface, and eliminate line dragging and hence causing a poor presentation.
While you can certainly high-stick dry flies and streamers, the most common strategy is nymphing with indicators, dry-dropper nymph combos, or contact style Euro Nymphing setups.
The Most Common Mistakes While High-Sticking:
- Fly line not running through the rod hand. Fine control of EXACT line length is essential. Anglers often hold the line only in their off hand, robbing them of fine control and forcing them to tip the rod back during the presentation as they run out of stripping leverage.
- Rod is tipped back, dragging their setup toward them rather than suspending it on the desired seamline. When you tip the rod back, rather than having it near parallel to the water's surface, it puts tension on the setup which is exactly what you don't want to do! Keep the rod just a few degrees above parallel to the water's surface.
- No effort on the reach. How bad do you want a strike? Reach for it! Use your arm length reach out, suspend the fly right where you want it. If your shoulder gets a bit tired, then you are on the right track! Pace yourself, it should be a little work.