This skill is perhaps the most important because it is the first move you make. If the pick-up is jerky, the remainder of the cast will likely follow suit. Commonly, the line is “ripped” off the surface, leaving a trail of froth behind.
Start with your rod tip on the ground (or in the water), then slowly lift the rod nearly on the horizontal until only the fly and leader remain on the surface letting the wrist give slightly. Next, simply “pluck” the fly from the surface by snapping the arm and wrist into the upright position. If you are using a cork-bodied popper, you will see only a slight exit splash from the popper.
Kayak Fly Fishing Skills are presented by Fly Fishing Instructor and NuCanoe Pro Staffer Joe Mahler. Learn more about Joe at http://www.joemahler.com/.