One of the best parts of our sport/hobby/lifestyle/addiction (call it what you will) is the never ending learning process. We all have unique experiences and techniques and have something to offer fellow anglers. I’m constantly trying to add arrows to my quiver of techniques, and always working out the kinks in those techniques. Over the last year or so I’ve had the chance to fish with some exceptional dry fly fishermen while participating in the Green River Single Fly Event, organized by Trout Unlimited (TU). This event is a fund raiser for TU, is well organized and is a TON of fun to attend. Each angler chooses one fly with which they catch as many fish as possible until losing the fly, destroying the fly, or running out of the allotted time. I participated the past couple years (2010 & 2011), both years I opted to fish a dry fly and attempt to maximize my catch with it. Once on the river, you are with a guide who knows every rock in the river and every fish that calls said rocks home. With that in mind I like to seize the opportunity to learn from the guides experience. Most recently I learned a new trick to improve my percentage of hookups when Trout SLOWLY take a dry fly. I fancy myself an above average dry fly fisherman (subject to debate) and have long known to wait for the Trout to rise and drop before setting the hook. The newest tip to add to this bit of knowledge has been hammered home by my guide friends on the Green River. Charles Card, Scott Barrus and Ryan Russell have had the misfortune of rowing me down the Green and witnessing me miss more Trout than I care to admit. All 3 guides agree it is important to wait a painful amount of time before setting the hook on a slow rising fish and, new to me, they also all agree on a SMOOTH, SLOW hook set. Before their guidance I waited the proper amount of time (most of the time ;)) and then briskly rose the rod to connect with the taking Trout. After watching me miss many takes, each guide suggested I slow my hook set. To be clear, they didn’t necessarily want me to wait longer, rather they advised me to wait as I had been doing, then raise the rod slower and smoother to increase my hookup ratio. It works. Check out this 1 minute video to see a slow, smooth set. It’s not perfect but I’m working on mastering it! If you watch closely in the shadow of the largest tree you’ll see a tiny rise just before I set.