Are you a Chucker, Dunker or Floater?

It struck me this winter, as I was shoveling snow for the nth time, that there are many ways to get a job done. 

I could chuck the snow onto my neighbor’s driveway, dunk my feet in wife’s boots and claim a crippling disorder, or put some vodka and ice in a glass and float away from the snow in a drifty haze.

It’s the same with fly fishing; we can divide ourselves into any combination of Chucking, Dunking or Floating.


The Chucker uses a single-handed, or a two-handed Spey rod, to toss a  fluffy/fuzzy streamer half way across the universe; then he drags the fly back at breakneck speed in the hope of enticing an attacking trout onto his hook. Bank-bonking the fly as near as possible to the river edge will get the odd biggie to bite.

The Chucker has gotten fed up with the piddly tiddlers and will spend hours and hours energetically wading downstream and will on average catch nothing on any given day. Only once-in-a-while will he get the blast of a bite whilst dreaming about the delayed supper that his wife is slowly heating to a crispy remnant-hood.

Those fish he catches are memories that are engrained, those meals, however, are best buried into oblivion.



The Dunker  uses a short excuse of a leader, weighted to hell, and lobs his nymph about five yards upstream, then bounces the whole kit-and-kabboodle between the rocks on the river bed.

The secret to dunking is in designing the rig that doesn’t get snagged between those same rocks and having arms that can withstand a whole day of being overextended and can still lift up a pint of beer that same evening.


The Floater is NOT, I repeat NOT, that which requires a second flush. It is instead divided into two camps.

The first is the Upstream Floater…the die-hard dry fly fisherperson, who meticulously and artistically can drop his dry fly on a dime, then can coax the fly in a seam, without any drag, until it gets nabbed by the fish.

The second is the Downstream Floater….the up-and-coming revivalist of the wet fly technique. He casts 3/4 downstream, lifts the rod tip just enough to keep tension on the fly as it swings downstream to lie directly below. The real trick with this method is NOT to set the hook with the rod, but to allow sufficient time for the trout to turn away then to set the hook with the line-holding hand. It used to be said that if the Downstream Floater was to recite “God Save the Queen” then that would have been enough time before the hook set.  



So go figure for yourselves which camp you belong in; Are you a Chucker, Dunker or Floater?NEXT: Beginners Lessons: 1 Choosing a rod

david williams