by Dave Kumlien
After nearly 40 years of guiding and instructing fly fishermen, I can say confidently that dragging flies are the main reason folks don't catch fish.
All too often, people cast their fly and then "retire" and watch it drift down the river. This approach doesn't work. None of the natural insects are drifting down the river with a leader attached to them. They go, unimpeded, wherever the current goes.
Of course, our trout fly imitations are tied to a leader, which is tied to our line, which is attached to our reels... and drag is an inevitable result of this attachment. However, there are several things an angler can do.
Fishing is a game of patience and a game of odds. Be patient, keep your fly on the water, not in the air, and keep it floating drag free as long as possible. You will catch more trout, I guarantee it.
Dave Kumlien is the Executive Director of TU's Whirling Disease Foundation  and Aquatic Invasive Species program . A 30 year Montana fly fishing outfitter, he has had the good fortune to spend a lot of time on the water teaching and guiding fly fishermen and hosting many TU trips to Montana.