Fly Fishing

TIPS FOR SUCCESS WHEN FLY FISHING IN CLEARWATER

In clearwater, stalking your prey becomes both part of the fun and part of the challenge. Whatever your target species, fish are on their guard in clear conditions, and fly fishing becomes an intriguing game and cat and mouse, and who can spot who first. These tips should raise your fly fishing game in clear conditions and help you land more fish in this testing arena.

GET THE JUMP ON THE FISH

In clear conditions, with the sun high in the sky, species are easily spooked. The key for getting the upper hand is in the details. Minimal movement. Minimal noise. No shadow. Species like trout tend to feed facing upstream. So, approach the fish from downstream, with the sun taking your shadow behind you. Take your time. Keep your movements precise.

USE A FLOATING LINE

When the sun is high in the sky, as it is in clear conditions, chances are the fish have spent all morning nibbling on flies and are more likely to head for a quieter area. A floating line with a nymph or dry fly pattern will entice them up. If you need something to go a little deeper, a ghost tip should do the trick.

Go a little smaller with your fly than normal. I have fished in clear conditions before where the fish were suspicious of the larger patterns, once I switched to a smaller version of the same fly, I started getting results. This is especially true of Trout, with Perch you might be able to get away with giving them a slightly bigger mouthful.

YOU’RE A SNIPER, NOT A MACHINE GUNNER

It only takes one good cast to land your prey. Don’t go all guns blazing firing cast after cast at them, you’re a sniper, not a machine gunner. Pick your spot and unleash when the time is right. The more times the fly lands on the water, the more chance the fish will scarper. Pick your moment and be economical with your casting.

BE ON YOUR GUARD

In these unforgiving conditions, the opportunity to strike doesn’t come around too regularly, so be ready to strike when you see the fish. I have lost fish due to not reacting fast enough. I didn’t have my fly ready, or was busy untangling something or other. Keep a rod ready to go so you don’t lose a single second once you lay eyes on it.

Fly fishing in clear conditions is as guerrilla as it gets. The snipers of the fishing world, fly fishos require the precision technique and the patience to take the real prizes. There is no better arena to test your skills than in clear conditions.

 


Are there any tips you can add to this list? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.

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Jackson Williams
jacksonw@dinga.com.au

Jackson Williams has been fishing around Australia for 20 years and loves his home region of far north Queensland.