Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Quebec & N.Y.state salmon rivers
All excellent advice!
Here's my opinion...
Many variables to consider first.
1. How much time do I have to tempt this fish to come back? Do I have all the time I want or is there someone stepping down behind me?
2. Was it a soft take, hard take, was it stung, etc...
3. Do you know if you are fishing over migrating or holding fish?
4. Floating line? Sinking?
5.water and weather conditions
Breaking down the variables helps me make my decision, but for the sake of giving an unconvoluted answer(which I am always guilty of), I'll assume your scenario and suggest what I would do...
If it were a missed grab, then I would check my hook and leader, then immediately cast in the same manner, distance, with the same fly and presentation. Tough to know if that fish was migrating or holding, how long it would stay in that area, or if it moved or followed from a far lie to grab the fly. A quick, approximate "replay"cast or 2 will eliminate a couple of those variables.
If nothing comes of it, then I would rest it for a few minutes, move upstream a few meters and work my way down to the take area and then past it a few meters using the same distance of line and same fly.
Assuming there's noone behind you, or if the person that is, is courteous enough to give you another go at it, then I'd go to a similar color and style of fly one or two sizes smaller and repeat.
If I had the pool to myself, fish were few and far between, and i knew the fish was holding, I'd rest that fish for as long as I can stand it and then go back at it with different presentations and flies between rests.
All depends whether spending that time is worth it compared to looking for a new player elsewhere.
Personally, I enjoy the challenge, and like experimenting and learning new nuances that can make a difference. Some of my most memorable and satisfying days were the one on ones I had with specific fish!
Either way, I'd say you were lucky to connect at all.