Techy Thursday - Sight Fishing Still Waters

Sight fishing is by far my favourite form of fly fishing, this visual style of fishing is truly addictive! Both trout living in rivers and lakes are prime sight fishing candidates; here are a few pointers that I like to practice when sight fishing still waters.

  • Practising casting into the wind (we get plenty in Tas), and learn how to limit false casting (wastes time and potentially scares fish).
  • Practising casting over a range of distances (super short; ie leader only, short, midrange and long).
  • Fish a long leader.
  • Learn how to fish tandem and even three fly rigs.
  • Practice Good Line Management…Lean how to carry fly in fingers and hold fly line (looped) to enable fast presentations when walking a lake edge. Cruising lake fish can ‘swim off’ if you are slow. Being slow to get line off the reel can mean lost opportunities. Dragging line on land can cause tangles by becoming caught up in snags and bushes.
  • Always look for signs of feeding fish (ripples from a rise, sound of a rise, bow waves, tails and food are prime examples).
  • Wear good Polaroid glasses / hat. When polaroiding look for obvious fish, but also other signs of fish (shape, shadow, movement).
  • If you are not sure it’s a fish, cast just in case!!
  • Keep a low profile, but also use features like shadows and height (rocks / high ground) to help see further into the water.

Even on perfect days, features like shadow, angle and height can help ‘see into the water’!

  • On tough days, keep moving until you see fish (even if it means scaring one), then slow down.
  • Find the food, you will normally find the fish!
  • Fish around features fish like (Weed beds, drop offs, food, wind currents, slicks foam lines, cover, points, bays).
  • On bad light days, walk fast when the sun is out, and slow down when you lose light.
  • Try to walk quietly.
  • Fish with the sun behind you as much as possible.
  • Remember, wind is your friend! It ‘opens up’ the water by creating waves to ‘look into’, creates currents, concentrates and transports food and makes fish ‘less spooky’.
  • Wear dull clothing.
  • When polaroiding, focus on the bottom. When moving forward, move your head from side to side and focus your vision ahead as you can see, then draw your sight back to the end of your rod.
  • When polaroiding deep water, move slowly.
  • Organise your gear the night before you fish to make the most of your time on the water.
  • Fish ‘windblown’ shores in the afternoon.
  • Fish confidently and have fun!!!