Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
1.) Stay Low
I once had the great privilege of fishing the Poudre River in Colorado with a member of the US National Fly Fishing team. While we were at the truck rigging rods he pulled out a set of knee pads that looked more suited for a carpet layer. I kind of gave him a look and probably made some sarcastic comment. It was he who got the last laugh, however, when he fished circles around me the entire day while shuffling up and down the stream on his knees. When I asked him what the secret was, he said, "well every single fish I caught saw you coming from 20 yards downstream." That was the day I learned to stay low and be stealthy in the presence of trout.
2.) Hook Set, Hook Set, Hook Set
On guide trips I tell folks, "Trip's paid for, hook sets are now free!" Even though it's a joke, there's some truth to that. Unless we are fishing with streamers or it is an extreme stroke of luck, the fish will almost never hook themselves. Therefore it's up to us to lodge those flies in the fish's mouth with a strong hook set. I tell guests to hook set on everything no matter what, even if you think it's the bottom. We can't catch 'em if we don't hook 'em!
3.) Less Casting, More Fishing
Let's be clear, false casting 60 feet of line makes you look really cool, not unlike Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. The problem is that while doing this your flies are zipping through the air and not in the water, where the fish are! Cast only as much as you need to and keep those flies in the water. The more time you spend with your flies in the water, the more fish you will catch. Obvious as this sounds, it's important to remember!
4.) Hike And Hike Some More
People are lazy, and fisherman are no exception. I spend hours poring over Google Earth maps trying to find stretches of water furthest away from the nearest road or access point. Obviously you need to park somewhere, but typically the fishing will be better (and easier!) when you're fishing to fish that don't get pounded 365 days a year. Spending just a few minutes hiking up or down from a stream access point can bring you to relative solitude and excellent fishing!