Dealing with Low and Clear Rivers

It's promising to be a long, warm and dry summer and that means as usual we're looking at low and clear rivers and spooky trout. Here's a few tips for success.

1. Go long and fine

The first step in targeting spooky trout is long leaders with fine tippets. If you struggle turning over long leaders then try adding a Polyleader into the system to assist with turnover. With tippets if you normally fish 6lb then try dropping down to 5lb. If you're already on 5lb then what about 4lb!

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Hamish Murray (Previous #4 in World, #1 in commonwealth, #1 in NZ) show's his skills in pulling a trophy sized brown out of clear skinny water

2. Reduce fly size

In clear water trout will see absolutely anything, so try and reduce the size of your flies. Smaller flies are often closer to what trout are actually feeding on and what's also important is they don't crash down on the surface like larger patterns.

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Gary Lyttle from H&F Taupo with a cracking brown caught sipping dries in skinny water on the Tongariro

3. Take your time

With spooky trout you very rarely get more than one chance, so make sure you take your time and make the most of that chance. When you spot a fish get into a position where you can observe the fish, watch to see how it's feeding and where best to position yourself for the cast.

Mike Davis and I with a couple of nice Rainbow's (although mine is smaller) caught using long leaders in clear water

Mike Davis from H&F Rotorua and I with a couple of nice Rainbow's (although mine is smaller) caught using long leaders in clear water

4. Make one cast and make it count

With minimal false casts make your first cast count. remember to take into account currents and if necessary throw in a curve or reach cast to improve your drift.