Thursday, March 17, 2011

Outside In

Guide Joe Ringo robbing the bank...

Trout season is here! As winter turns to spring the Deschutes will once again come to life with its incredible hatches.  If you’re like me, you love fishing dry flies.  There’s nothing like stalking a big trout chowing on bugs in a foam line. That being said, it’s easy to get tunnel vision when you find a riser… Just because you see a fish rising doesn’t mean there isn’t other trout around.  Most of the time there is.

A few years back I realized a simple strategy to maximize the number of fish that see my bug when fishing with an upstream presentation.  Instead of just making random casts or going straight to a rising fish, approach bank water with a specific method.  Always start with the seam or bubble line farthest from the bank.  On the Deschutes, that seam won’t usually be more than ten feet from the grass.  Even if you see a big greedy trout slurping on bugs, start on the outside seam.  Make a few drifts then move into the next seam.  Systematically work your way into the bank or to the rising fish.

Often times you’ll hook fish (or many fish) you didn’t see as you slowly work in.  If you hook an unseen fish, quickly turn your rod downstream and get the fish into the main current.  Your goal is to keep the fish from spooking the rising fish or other fish in the area.  If you went to the riser immediately, chances are you would have spooked any other fish nearby.  By working from the outside in, you’ll give yourself a lot more opportunities. 

The other advantage of this approach is you can gage your casting distance to a riser without spooking it.  It’s easy to see a Deschutes trout rising and get so excited you cast over the fish and blow the shot.  By working from the outside in you’ll know exactly how much line you need to place the fly in the perfect position. 

Happy hunting!
-Tom Larimer

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