Traditional Flyrodders

Lately I have been reflecting more and more about how other folk fish. Most guys I see on the water are flyrodders. Every now and then I will stop and watch what another angler does. There is always seems to be stuff to learn. I have not been flyfishing too long. 5 years I think? and all has been tenkara.

Like most, I mostly prefer fishing alone and in water that has not been tainted by other anglers. Recently that wish has been nearly impossible and the river seems to be the getaway everyone is looking for. Rivers that normally do not have a soul on them at daybreak, now have several anglers.

So this spring with more anglers, I have been doing more observation.

Why is it that most fly fisherman wade deep? And sometimes stand in a seam or structure that normally holds fish? I have seen a lot of inexperienced anglers do this too, but most of these guys look like they have been at it for decades. They walk up to water and right in. No working the close water. No care or slow movement…just an immediate swim to waist high water.

I can understand the need for a traditional flyrodder to wade in a touch to be able to get adequate back cast, but the funny thing is most of these guys are fishing fly and bobber(indicator) or just czech nymphing…so no back cast.

Perhaps someone can shed some light on this. I wonder if there is something in this strategy that they find success in or do they just blank on their outings unless a hatch starts?

Some of this water is not very big and some of it wild.

I do believe that there are categories of trout. Personalities. Even some wild trout could care less about our presence and will not spook. I have had wild unstocked trout take my fly within feet of me well after I disrupted a pool by walking through it. Others will dart back and forth and split the minute we come within 30 feet of a pool. We are a horrible abomination in their world…and it is an appropriate and expected response for them to split or at lease close the shutters.

Even with all my attempts at stealth I am lucky if I get 4-5 fish in my local wild water in the spring. I am not sure how these other anglers can possibly be doing well. Is this a wrong assumption? I typically rarely see many anglers land fish on the wild water. I do see them catch fish on stocked but I suspect those fish are still acclimated to human presence.

These deep waders irk me a little. I know they have tainted all the productive water. It is fine, as first come first serve, and I can always fish the more technical water that they skip. At the same time, I feel it is a bit inconsiderate of other anglers and probably less productive for themselves.

Just curious if I am missing something as it seems so many of them have the same behavior.

Interesting observations about western fly anglers. I have been fly fishing since 1976, and regularly fish with one of two friends who fish a western rod and reel that love to fish small to mid-sized streams. I virtually always catch more fish than they do and have watched their behavior on the water, and approaching the water change over a couple of years fishing with them when using my Tenkara rod.

The shorter, more intimate range of a Tenkara rod forces me to play the short game, and that includes a stealthy approach before even entering the water to target fish close to shore. I think that many western anglers don’t think about the fish that may be up close because their rods, though shorter, require a longer length of heavy fly line to load the rod and there is often a lack of room for a backcast making it more difficult to deliver an accurate cast 12 to 15 feet away .

I tend to walk slightly ahead of my buddies on the approach but I seldom pre-rig my rod before I am ready to fish. They rig their western rods at the car. They see me stop at the water’s edge to look over the water, often urging them to fish close-in possible lies from shore or in just a couple inches of water while I rig up and watch. I now see them targeting water that is in the middle to the end of my Tenkara reach and catching fish, rather than routinely making 25 to 40 ft casts.

I used both western and tenkara. Heck I spin fish also, just depends on where I’m fishing or what I’m fishing for. I don’t like wading deep as it is even if I’m wearing chest waders. Thigh deep is the most I care to be in. If I’m using western, there’s no point in me getting in waist deep water when I can make a longer cast if necessary. Many times, if I fish with a streamer, I’ll cast downstream or cross stream and let it swing and then swim the streamer back to me where I am which is upstream. I usually catch most big fish as the streamer is swimming upstream. Whether or not the fish sees me seems to make no difference. I’ve been in small creeks in Idaho and have caught large fish right at my feet and then other times slowly made my way to a pool only to spook the fish when fishing tenkara. But then in that same pool I’ll catch a fish that is downstream from me right where I had previously waded through. I’ve also found that once you wade into a spot and don’t move for a while, you become part of that water and the fish don’t seem to care as long as you don’t make any sudden movements.