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Sight Fishing for Trout – 3 Tips

Posted on September 09 2016

Sight fishing for rainbow trout at Alaska West.
There’s one. Photo: Greg Houska.

2016 brought higher than average water levels to our home river at Alaska West, greatly improving our opportunity to target trout in one of our favorite ways – Stalking them on foot in smaller, intimate, side channels and sight fishing for them!

We’ve ran a few posts in the past on some tips for sight fishing for trout, and today Alaska West guide, Greg Houska, shares a few more tips on getting the ‘eat’ when you’re staring straight at Hog Johnson.

Enjoy!

Sight Fishing for Trout – 3 Tips

  1. Increase Your Drift. Increase your chance of getting ‘the eat’ by giving a long drift. First, study the trout’s behavior and holding zone, then begin your drift at least 10 ft ahead of that. This allows the fly to naturally move down the feeding lane while giving the fish more time to visually hone-in on your offering. Beware however, sometimes giving a long drift places your fly in a different, sometimes smaller, fish’s feeding lie. Adjust accordingly!
  2. Tweak it. Trout denials can be a good thing. If a trout denies a presentation after giving it a hard look, or even a general glance, it means that your rig is on the right track! Try changing your fly or bead size (usually by going smaller) or drop down to a lighter tippet. Another factor to consider tweaking is the fly’s depth in the water column by adding (or removing) a split shot.
  3. Watch the fish! If you can see your target fish watch it, not your fly or indicator. When you’re pretty sure your fly is in the trout’s feeding zone you should be looking at the trout to watch for any subtle or obvious movement. Seeing things like a mouth opening, shifting out of its established lie, or even a turn of it’s head probably means that it ate your offering. Set the hook!

More on Sight Fishing for Trout

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