Sight Fishing for Trout

Opening Day of Trout has come and gone but there are still plenty of opportunities to be had on the streams. You just have to know where and how to look.

Here are a few more tips:

  1. Fish both directions, upstream and downstream. Fly fishermen may prefer to start working upstream if casting floating flies, and downstream if working streamers or nymphs. Either way, keep in mind the fish are more likely to see you if you work downstream so give both angles a shot.

  2. Give it time. As you reverse your direction you’ll notice that the shadows from the tall neighboring trees have shifted, revealing new pockets and obscuring others. Fish take full advantage of shadows.

  3. Consider the tertiary lies. “Tertiary” is a fancy term for “Plan C.” Anglers repeatedly walk past fish that are holding in areas you maybe would not have tried.

  4. Stay low. Trout vision is outstanding. If you don’t sneak up to a stream edge, the trout may slide away before you ever see them. If you do happen to notice a fish, consider casting from your knees.

  5. Orientation. When scouting, anglers grow accustom to seeking shapes that are have the head pointed upstream. However, with swirling current eddies, you may miss fish oriented sideways behind a boulder. Or the fish may see you first.

This spring my son hooked a beautiful brook trout, released it, and was amazed when it disappeared under a small rock midstream. He continued to fish the area for another half hour or so and the fish never left. And it has us wondering: how many fish have we overlooked?

How many fish are you missing? Share this post with your friends so they also can be more aware on where and how to look for fish!

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.