To clarify; most of my fishing experience is in tail-waters and not freestone streams.
I need to get up to some of the smaller streams more often. The method I described in my previous post works for me because I like to agitate or give my dry fly a simple action if the fish are picking at them. Also, when I midge fish with small midges; I find it useful that a 6-16" pull of line with my left hand sets the hook without pulling it out by a combination of line/rod pull. However; you must manage your line slack. I don't mend my line; I just set up my cast so that I do not have drop in to and cross currents.
To reiterate my style:
1. I keep my line fairly taunt
in the drift.
2. Also, I point the rod tip towards the fly and follow the fly with my rod tip. - I find this extremely important!
3. My left arm is extended completely
and is past my right hand on the rod. Grabbing the line as far forward as the allowable before getting to the first eye-lit. I usually have some slack line in the water behind this that I let out to extend my drift in some cases.
4. Once the fish hit; I pull straight back on my left hand
to set the hook. (usually at about a 45Deg angle initially and then bring higher once the fish gets closer)
5. Then, I raise my rod accordingly to maintain tension. I do not muscle the fish with my rod; I just let it work the line; my rod use is usually only as a tension maintainer in the retrieve; I bring it up and down as it were a drag control. (This method would most likely be different for me if I were fishing for salmon or larger fish).
*It works great for me and it feel natural!