There’s no question that fishing a run behind other anglers in a stream will lower your chances of catching trout.
But when fishing with a buddy or two, someone is always left with mucked up water. I usually don’t mind being that person because I enjoy watching my friends catch fish. I also view it as just an extra challenge to overcome.
Here are some tips that help me when I’m batting clean-up:
Patience Pays Off:
If you’re eager to fish a juicy run that your buddy has been hogging, don't just rush in there after he moves on. The fish are leery and they’ll ignore your flies just like they did his.
*Fish move out of their feeding lane when they sense predators, but when the threat leaves, they’ll resume their position after some time. I watched spooked trout many times in my local waters and found that they’ll return after 7 to 10 minutes.
Observe Your Buddies Tactics:
If you’re on deck to fish a nice run that your friend is flubbing up, glance over once in a while and take note of how it’s being fished. Notice the location of his casts, the speed and depth of the dead drifts etc. Notice what flies and technique he’s using. When it’s your turn you’ll know how to change it up for better results.
Change Your Position:
Often, just a slight position change can lead to significant improvements in your catch rate. In other words, don’t fish from the exact spot your buddy was standing; position yourself further up or further downstream. A few feet can make a huge difference.
*Fishing from the other side of the stream when possible is a whole new ball game and will open a new set of opportunities for success.
Embrace the Learning Opportunity:
If your fishing companion happens to be a seasoned angler who just cleared the run of fish, don’t get discouraged. Instead, see it as a golden opportunity to learn and improve your skills. Observe closely, take note of their techniques, and try to replicate their success.
*Learning and becoming a better trout angler is a continuous journey. Smart anglers use every opportunity to enhance their skills.
Fishing behind your friends is not always as productive, but it can be a rewarding challenge.
By following the tips shared in this article, you can increase your chances of success in these challenging conditions.
And even if your catch rate does dip when fishing with friends, the experience of watching them hook into a big trout or enjoying the antics of a fishing buddy can be just as enjoyable as a solo session, if not more. Tight lines!
By Jeff Sasaki, Mavrk Fly Fishing
Tips for fish behind your buddy.