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Approaching Trout (10 of 12)

Video Transcript:

Trout face into the current. Some people say they face that way because that's where their food comes from. But truly, trout face that way because they're designed to. They can't hold their position when facing down current. So, when approaching fish, especially in low water, it's often easiest from a position downstream of the fish, because they can't see so well directly behind them. Trout have a window from which they can observe the outside world, and the physics of that get more complicated than I want to discuss; actually because I don't totally understand the physics behind it. But be aware that the deeper a trout lies in water, the more it can see the outside world. There are a number of things you can do to avoid spooking trout. Why should you worry about that? Because once a trout is frightened, it won't feed for anywhere from a few minutes to many hours. If they're scared, they don't eat. It's a simple as that.

All right, our next pocket is up here on the other side of this boulder. I'm going to sneak up, as close as I can, keeping my profile low, so I don't spook the fish, and again using that high rod tip, throwing my fly up over the boulder. I usually like to try the good spots first, because every subsequent cast you make, you take the chance of spooking the fish. But, I try to make my first cast count, and put it in the best spot. Then, I'll work over to some smaller spots that aren't quite as good, maybe a little shallower, but you never know. Fish aren't always where they're supposed to be. One of the things that you want to be aware of in small streams is always to turn around and look behind you, and there's two reasons you want to look behind you. One is, obviously, that you want to make sure you're not going to catch your back cast in a tree. But one of the other things is that you always want to have some kind of cover behind you, whether it's a rock, or a high bank, or a tree. Because, if you're silhouetted against the sky, and you're moving your arm or your head, that instantly alerts the fish to something that's not right, and there's a predator above them. So always try to use the background to your advantage. Always turn around.

Clothing color in small stream fishing is relatively important. You want to wear something like this green that kind of matches the foliage behind you. I don't think you have to go crazy and get a camouflage shirt, or camouflage waders, but you should try to match the background. So, a green, a tan, a brown is good in a situation like this.