Shop Orvis Today!

Strategies For Spotting And Approaching Fish (8 of 21)

Watch Next Video

Video Transcript:

Speaker 1: Once you find what habitat the fish are on, then it's a matter of stalking them, and that's the fun part. Whether you're stalking fish on foot, or from a boat, there are things you can do to avoid scaring fish, and to present the fly in the proper manner.

Even large game fish are spooked by boats, and by fly lines landing near them, so always try to position yourself on the outside of a school. If you can tell which direction the fish are moving, always try to have them moving toward you. So, Jim, we've got a bunch of fish working in here, in a fairly tight area, so what's the strategy in fishing like this?

Jim: Well, you've got fish that are probably taking worms that are right in this region here. We're going to come in and try to have good casts in here. But I don't want to get right in the middle of them. I want to stand on just the outside.

Speaker 1: So, we're going to stay on the edge of the school that's feeding, and not run right in the middle.

Jim: Right, because if we drive through the middle, we're going to put these fish down.

Speaker 1: This is a good time to start talking about spotting fish underwater. Sometimes you'll see signs on the surface, like fish waking, or sticking their tails and dorsal fins in the air when in shallow water, but often you have to spot them below the surface. Polarized sunglasses with amber, copper, or rose tints are best, and it's essential to wear a hat to keep bright light off your eyes.

Most fish that you stalk will be moving, so pay attention to any movement below the surface. Look for these things: nervous water where a riffle runs contrary to the wind, shapes in the water that move, the flash of a fish turning on its side to feed, or the glint of a fin sticking above the water.

Speaker 1: It's very important to have a good pair of sunglasses when you're fishing. Good-quality polarized glasses cut the glare and protect your eyes from UV rays, but also they protect your eyes from flies that might go flying by your face. It's very important to protect your eyes whenever you're fly fishing.

Learn to recognize the shape and color of the fish you're looking for. Bonefish can range from almost white, to blueish- gray, to almost black. Permit and barracuda are the same shade with a black tail. Redfish look rusty-colored, and striped bass and tarpon are typically blueish-gray or green. Fish are easiest to spot on bright sunny days over light bottoms, and difficult to spot over mixed bottoms or grass beds.

Jim: Jesus H. Crist!

Speaker 1: It sometimes helps to watch the light spots in between darker patches for fish passing through.