Thursday, August 11, 2011


In search of rising snouts? Finding and landing a rising fish can be a very frustrating experience. Here's some tips to increase your success rate.

Walk slowly. Locating rising fish can be the most difficult part so take your time. Walk slow and scan the water for signs of a rising fish. Sometimes you'll only see the tip of a nose, other times only the tail. Depending on their mood, bugs and a variety of other variables, rising fish may eat on the surface every 2-10 seconds or much less frequently so moving too quickly can result in pushing fish before you even know they are there. 
Invest in good sunglasses. While they don't give you laser vision, polarized sunglasses do help spot fish. Bigger splash does not mean bigger fish. In fact, the most subtle rises tend to be the largest fish. This brings us back to the first tip, the biggest fish are the hardest to find so move slowly and attentively. When you locate a rising fish, gently enter the river (if you weren't in it already) and get into position. I prefer to cast at a fish from a slight angle, either the left or right if it is possible to reduce the chances of lining the fish (landing the leader or fly line on the fish and spooking it.) 
Take a minute to observe the insects in the air and on the water, and try to replicate them with a fly as best you can. Remember to cast upstream of the rise form to allow the fly to enter the fish's field of vision just a natural dead drifting insect would. If you have the option of multiple fish, cast to the fish furthest downstream first. Most often, fish will run downstream when hooked so by casting to the upstream fish first you likely spook all the fish if you hook it. Why catch one fish when you could catch all of them?! Theoretically, this will allow us to "pick them off" one at a time from downstream up. 
If you get an eat, resist the urge to strike the minute you see him eat. The fish needs to eat the fly, and turn down before you should strike. This will likely be a very excruciating experience but hold your breath for a couple seconds and then strike. If the stars align and you have enough luck, it will all happen perfectly, as planned the first time. More likely then not, there will be multiple attempts and a lot of swearing involved but give it a try and don't give up. Good luck!

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