Rig up, walk to the river and choose a piece of water. Maybe it’s the section you’ve had your heart set on since last night, when you planned this day trip. Or maybe a new undercut caught your eye on the other side of some perfect pocket water. Whatever you choose to fish, your next decision awaits — how will you approach the water? Where will you stand and from what angle will you cast?
We all make decisions about whether to fish upstream, downstream or across the stream. That’s based primarily on our tactics, and we also consider not spooking the trout — because scared fish don’t eat flies.
But just as important are the light angles. What angle, what side of the river, gives you the best chance to see into the water? Because if you can’t see it, you can’t fish it.
The longer I guide, the more I realize that this is one of the most overlooked aspects of fishing for trout. Choosing your casting position based on visibility, working with the light rather than fighting against it, is not an intuitive decision. But by simply moving our body, by wading up, down or over, we change the light, the highlights and the glare on the water. In this way we can see through a section of river from the left side that was under impossible glare from the right side.
There’s a lot to understand here, and it surely helps to see it for yourself. So check out the video below. Then continue on to find more links to relevant Troutbitten articles about how we approach the water.
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A few years ago, I published a Troutbitten article that covered this topic of light angles and approach. It makes a great companion for this video.
Reading the water is a fundamental skill for every angler who has ever thrown a line at a fish. Her’es the category for reading water on Troutbitten:
Remember, Troutbitten reads more like a book than a blog. So dig into the above links and have fun out there.
Fish hard, friends.
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Enjoy the day.
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