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Approaching Fish (9 of 21)

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Video Transcript:

One of the things you want to do when you're stalking fish in shallow, flat water like this is to move carefully, move slowly. Shuffle your feet and try not to push a wake in front of you. Fish can sense that wake in the water, and they know you're coming, so you really have to move carefully. You don't want to just stride right out into the flat, because you will scare the fish. What you hope for is to have the fish coming at you.

That's the best shot because you throw the fly in front of them, and then the fly looks like it's escaping from the fish. If you don't get that shot, if you get a crossing shot, that's not quite as good, but it's still decent. The worst shot of all is a going away shot, where the fish are going away from you, because you have to pretty much throw over their back, and then the fly comes back at them. If once in a while they'll take it that way, you take the shot anyway.

Pulling a flats boat is a superb skill, and the best guides can sneak up on a fish with barely a sound. But fishing with a guide is a team effort. You have to do your part, not only with casting and presenting the fly, but also by keeping noise to a minimum. And if you're fishing with a buddy, make sure you not only help look for fish, but keep track of his or her line to make sure there are no tangles if a big fish decides to take line.