Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Odds
Fly fishing small streams and creeks can be a thrilling experience. I’m often found working on a river about two rod lengths wide at its broadest points.
On the best days, trout can seem as thick as thieves but on bad days they can be as cautious as a cat in a dog park.
Fly fishing difficulties may not be due to your fly selection or technique, but rather your approach and strategy.
We are here to help. Below, you will find our top fly fishing tips.
Fly Fishing Tips
Many experienced fly anglers know that trout are very wary of humans. Anything that can alert their lateral lines to your presence will spook them.
It really does make a difference to keep your head down and watch your shadow.
You should approach the stream slowly and with care, taking note of each step. Although it may seem excessive, I guarantee you that you have spooked fish that are right at your intended location.
The same rule applies to wading.
You should move as deliberately as possible and as stealthily you can. It will really make a big difference.
Keep your shadow out of sight and watch what you do
Trout are very good at seeing you coming.
Louis Cahill shows how to handle trout that are extremely spooky.
If you have ever wondered why pros are so successful, it might not be your fly selection, river-reading, or technique. They may go the extra mile to remain stealthy.
Small streams require subtlety, stealth and intelligence.
Keep low and creepy if you want some insurance. You don’t want them to have the chance of seeing you. Keep your shadow away from the water, if possible, and watch the sun.
I learned the hard-way that you should stand at least one rod length from the water and cast your first few casts towards the shallows.
A trout or two that you thought you had spooked might actually be waiting for you to cast a fly.
Remember that there are also fish at your side of water
It was common to see someone fish in the bayus of Louisiana and watch them put their boat in water, then race off to unknown parts. Only to be amazed when a skilled angler cast right at the boat launch, bringing out nice fish.
We would laugh about it and then race to our destination.
You shouldn’t make the same mistake in a stream. We often fall for the false belief that the fish aren’t right where we are but over there, wherever that may be. This mistake could be called “the water’s always more bluer over here”.
Don’t forget to turn the water to your side when you reach the river or stream you want to fish.
You should look out for ripples, foam lines and quiet pools that will attract insects and other prey. They are closer than you might imagine.
Keep quiet and stealthy, and keep your target tour close at hand.
It will be amazing how many fish are in the water around you!
Do not try to cast for as long as possible
It is amazing to watch a master fly fisherman cast a fly.
Our guide will show you how to fly fish using a spinning rod
Long casts can be problematic, but it is true. Long casts not only make hooksets less likely, but also open you up to potentially insurmountable fights.
The greater the chance of trout escaping, the more lines you put out. It’s a simple fact.
It’s also true that you might be missing fish, and targets much closer than you think.
John Zimmerman recalls that fish were rising up and downstream from the river, eating yellow bugs in all directions. Fish were rising within ten yards of every angler I saw. But instead of smart, productive fishing I saw one 60-to 80-foot cast after the other.”
This is a huge mistake.
He says, “Be patient.” Catch those fish closest to you first. The fish that you see 60 feet away won’t go anywhere. You might be able to put them down if you continue casting at the fish in front of your face.
Once you have thoroughly explored the water, don’t cast.
Move slowly and creep, to get closer.
It’s fly fishing and not fly casting, so remember that!
Trout breathe oxygenated water when it passes through their gills. This is why you will often see them facing the current.
With eyes that can see a mayfly from 20 feet away, it is important to avoid their business.
This is why I enjoy casting upstream.
Without presenting myself, I can drop a fly before any trout waiting. It’s as easy as it sounds, but it will really increase your chances.
Although Tom Redington is not a fly angler himself, he understands exactly what he’s talking.
You can either skip the indicators or reduce them.
Indicators are great tools for detecting strikes.
However, it is clear that they can increase drag and spook fish.
It’s better to ignore the indicator, especially if you’re fishing in small streams. This is true even if the water is very clear and barely moving.
Keep your line tight and your rod tip high. Tenkara’s tip will help you realize that spooky fish are more likely to take your fly.
If this is not possible, I suggest you check out products such as Anglers Accessories Poly Vee rubber O-Ring Yarn Straike Indicators. To make them less noticeable, trim them down and then coat them with fly float. If you do this, they’ll remain afloat for the entire day.
These indicators are made less visible by me.
Fly fishing on small streams and creeks can be extremely rewarding or frustrating.
These tips will help you be more successful when trout are prone to fly at the sound of a shadow or noise.
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