"They had to of seen that, they must not want to eat...should we change flies?" I don't remember when it happened the first time but I hear it often and more often than that I see the result. I get my caster to see a few pushes coming down the bank he has a few seconds to make the cast before they will see the boat, he leads the school a little with a dupree or a clouser he starts striping as if to move the fly a moment passes I say 'strip, strip' more forcefully he speeds up a little and the fish blow right past it. So what was the issue?
A second but similar story. "These fish aren't really moving around yet with this sun so low, put a cast up on this point just to see if they are sitting there." He did just that, first cast of the day out about 70 feet with a little bit of curl at the end. A fish pushed about two feet to the left of the fly and he lifted the rod as if to set the hook because the fish startled him, after realizing this was not a fish eating but one a little startled he took a moment then started striping to catch up with all the slack he had just created. The other fish in the area passed the fly by and moved up the bank following their buddy. Then came pretty much the same comment in the boat as the other story about being confused on why they wouldn't eat.
Both stories had two key words, 'a moment' which were the likely reason we didn't catch any of the fish on the point or from the school coming to us.
If you are in a situation where you cast and there is a little slack or put it right in front of a fast moving school you better being doing all you can to catch up to the fly. I often have casters cast out to fish and start to strip the correct strip for moving the fly before they have caught up to it. The steady strip of a dupree spoonfly or the bumping strip of a clouser are not so effective as when used as the catching up strip to get the slack in. In other words before you start moving the fly with your strip you need to catch up to the fly and often you need to do so fast. There is no drift here in the Low Country.
Yesterday I had a young teenager on the boat, excited to fish, good with a fly rod, and focused on what he was doing. Youth and excitement helped him catch fish, his excitement didn't want his hands to waste time stripping slow unless he had caught up to his fly. It seemed he was automatically caught up with his fly whenever we were on fish, even if he didn't lay out a perfectly taunt cast. So the 'a moment' phrase didn't play much of a role in his fishing and most importantly this ended up yielding hookups.
Just one more little thing that can make such a huge difference.