As a fly fishing guide my job is to help our guests have a great day on the water. Although there is much, much more to a great day on the water than the number of fish in the net a good day of “catching” never hurts.
The surefire way to improve your catch rates are to improve your fundamental skills related to casting, reading the water and line management. Learning more about the sport and improving these fundamental skills is a big reason many anglers enjoy fishing with a professional. Since radically improving your cast is unlikely in a single day of fishing many guides also rely on some quick and easy techniques that can almost instantly improve catch rates. Here are some strategies that I use on a daily basis with my clients.
Get closer to the trout
One of the mantras that I repeatedly preach on the water is to get as close as you can to your target without spooking the trout. The vast majority of fly fishers make much longer casts than are necessary. When you are fishing pocket water with a lot of surface texture or a deeper run trout are less wary.
In heavy water anglers can often get to within five yards of trout without sending them fleeing. Casting issues seem to melt away when you aren’t trying to huck 40 yard casts. Everything improves when you are closer to fish: less tangles, higher cast frequencies, better line management and presentation and quicker hook sets.
Also You can check Secrets to Catching More Trout Video
Use less weight when nymph fishing
Many fisherman assume that they need to be regularly tapping the bottom of deeper runs when they are nymph fishing. While a lot of split shot is needed to drop flies to the bottom of a big hole, that doesn’t mean it is always the best way to fish. Split shot acts as a pivot point on your leader and results in more tangles which reduces fishing time.
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They can also produce a dead spot that results in less strikes detected. There are situations such as in the winter and early spring when you absolutely must fish right in front of their nose and multiple shot is a requirement. Often trout are in relatively shallow water but still feeding subsurface.
The most productive holding water in summer months is often the shallow riffles where fish move in to feed. For some reason many fly fishers immediately start fishing the deepest water in a river when they switch over to nymphs. Try a very light rig with little or no split shot and target the shallow riffles where the big fish move into when they are on the feed. Tangle rates go down and hook ups increase!
Cover more water
One of the biggest challenges of guiding wade fishing trips is to almost continuously encourage fishermen to keep moving. There are some exceptions where there are so many trout in a run that it warrent stopping for an hour or more to completely, but often it pays to cover more water. The most aggressive trout in a run generally strike the first time they see a good presentation. By covering a lot of water you can cherry pick the most aggressive trout that are actively feeding.
Reduce your false casting
While casting like Brad Pitt makes for good Hollywood movies, it doesn’t help your fishing. When flies are in the air they aren’t in front of trout. We work hard at the beginning of each day of fishing to reduce the number of false casts that our clients make to help them keep their flies in the water a higher percentage of the day. This simple change often results in doubling the catch rate for the day. Nothing is more painful than floating by some ideal holding water while the flies are in the air on their 10th false cast.
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Try foam dry flies
Although more technical patterns that imitate small mayflies are still best tied with traditional feathers and hairs, there are some great attractor patterns made of foam. The beauty of foam dry flies is that they don’t sink and they are pretty durable. If you are spending less time drying flies off and changing chewed up patterns then you are spending more time with your flies in the water which always puts a few more trout in the net.