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The Not-So-Secret Secret to Catching More Trout

Posted on December 15 2015

Leopard Rainbow Trout from Alaska West.
Gary kept moving. Photo: Gary Davisson.

Want the secret to catching more trout? Here it is – Show your fly to as many fish as possible. 

Okay, we all know there’s more to it than that, but if there’s one universal truth in fly fishing it’s this; the more fish that see your fly, the more fish you’re going to catch. Period.

One of the things that makes rowing for trout so effective is that your fly is able to fish through literally miles of river, covering more water than you ever could on foot. Furthermore, the angler usually has no choice but to make one shot at a particular spot before moving onto the next, making it extremely efficient as well.

However, when fishing on foot we find many anglers spend too much time fishing to a particular lie before moving on to the next fishy looking spot. Covering water quickly and efficiently is key to finding fish in moving water. Therefore, when searching for trout on foot it’s really important to keep moving, covering as much water as possible, thus showing your fly to as many fish as possible.

Remember, no matter how good a lie looks, sometimes trout just don’t eat. So, when searching for trout, rather than continuously beating up a stretch of water hoping for a fish to eat ‘this time,’ we like to give each promising lie no more than one or two good presentations before moving onto the next. Couldn’t there still be fish there? Sure there could, but odds are if he didn’t eat on the first or second attempt, he’s probably not going to on the third either, so best move on in search of more aggressive fish.

Keep in mind we’re talking one or two presentations here, not casts. A poor drift should be treated just as if the cast was never made. However, if you’re confident your fly made it through the zone as intended, but no one was interested, it’s probably time to move on and keep on searching!

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