spotting fish

One of the most exhilarating experiences that you’ll have is sight fishing. Seeing the fish, before it sees you, puts you at a huge advantage. You’ll be able to observe it’s exact location, feeding behavior, depth, and direction it’s facing. However, fish are extremely adapted to their environment, making it difficult to key in on them. Here are a few helpful tips for spotting them:⁣

First things first, you’ll need to equip yourself with a pair of polarized sun glasses - brown and grey tints work best (We find black can be too dark on overcast days). This will give you the superpower X-ray vision you’ll need to look past any glare on the water’s surface. ⁣(When just starting out, don’t spend $200 on a pair of sunglasses. We’ve found the cheap ones can work just as well. You also wont have to worry about losing them).

Next, you’ll want to focus the majority of your attention on the 10% of water that you think will contain fish. Try to position yourself with the sun to your back. This will provide you with the optimal angle to reduce glare. Scan the water slowly trying to look into the water, rather than at the surface. If you can get on higher ground to look at the hole, you will gain greater water visibility. ⁣Be extra slow and methodical the way you move when you’re above the trout. They’re extra aware of what’s above them because that’s usually where most of their predators come from to get them.

There are subtle characteristics that make fish stand out from their environment:⁣

Movement - Fish, especially a feeding fish, will be moving throughout it’s feeding channel. Fish are always trying to conserve energy. If at first, an object that looks like a fish doesn’t move, keep watching. Often it will start to move back and forth - giving away its position. ⁣

Shape - Fish, look like fish. It’s torpedo shape can often be a dead giveaway, distinguishing it from other rocks, sticks, moss, and whatever else might be around it. ⁣

Color - Although trout backside is quite camouflaged, certain parts of the trout can be seen if the river has a lighter backdrop. The colors of the mouth, fins, and belly of the trout, if exposed, can become easily visible to the trained eye.⁣

Shadow - The shadow on the river bed is often more easy to see than the fish itself. You'll know the shadow of a trout when you see it. ⁣

It takes practice and concentrated effort to become skilled at seeing trout.

sneaky ninja tactics

Trout are keenly aware of their environment and flee at the first sign of danger.

You’ll need to learn the art of being a fly fishing ninja to sneak up on these timid creatures. Unless in an eddy, fish face upstream. If you want to fool an unsuspecting trout, sneak up from behind. ⁣

Trout fear anything moving above the water. If they see you or your rod moving back and forth, trout will embrace the spirit of Halloween and get spooked 👻. This could also occur from a cast that slaps the water. If a trout is spooked, it will often retreat to the bottom and stop feeding. It is often best to take a break from casting, enjoy the scenery for a few minutes, and hope he will resume feeding. Try again with a little more caution. ⁣

As stated, trout fear anything moving ABOVE the water. With this in mind, you must stay below the trout’s scope of view. This is a definite advantage of wading as the lower you keep yourself, the less likely a trout will see you. Crouching and crawling have their advantages too, especially when approaching from the sides or in front of a fish. ⁣So get your army crawl on!

Be sure to not carelessly wade from hole to hole. The slower the water, the slower you should move. Faster water and riffles can cover your approach.