I moved out to Oregon this past summer, and honestly speaking, fishing near top surface and slight sub surface is quite a paradigm shift having fished the Midwest.
So, I didn't care what protocol to use when using a waking fly. Thus, just as my fishing buddy (also a transplant to OR from NY) and I parted to fish our respective sections of the run, he hands me one of his creations with "Here, try this".
I didn't think much of it except to fish it and see what it did. What I found was surprising. The fly sat much deeper into the film and remained there. As a result it created a larger-than-normal vee wake, sinking its tail into the current, greatly increasing the shimmy and shaking one normally finds with other waking flies that often glide.
Still lacking confidence, I decided to slight chug/ pop the head in rapid successive motion to get more calling power. I saw this with Scott Howell's Skagit Master DVD (seen it a million times now since working at the fly shop), but I wanted to make it more successive, more rapid fire, and less splashy as if a October Caddis was fluttering/ struggling on it. Plus it gave me the visual ability to locate the fly on the swing.
A retiree from Tacoma, WA was sitting next to his car watching me chugging that fly. He later shared with me he thought I was misapplying the waking concept after seeing the rapid fire but diminutive splashing with each twitch.
Then, right where that retiree knew where he had caught fish at, BAM, a hatchery buck hits it. I see the fish drag that fly down with a hefty splash. Of course, my NY tier buddy thought I was yanking his chain indulging him with false hope, but started cying out in elation when he saw my 7 weight groaning under strain.
That retiree and I talked and we talked about changing presentation/ flies contrary to what the fish have seen. Maybe it was the chugging, maybe it was the in-the-film vee wake, maybe it was the cadence of splashes, maybe it was the October caddis colors in the fly. Ah, maybe a great conversation is often one that opens more questions than answers them.
I know I certainly know it was more than just the fish who got hooked on this fly:
Shawn's LRC fly can be found here: http://instagram.com/sflies