3 Ways to Catch More Fish
on Your Next Trip
Simple and Effective Ways You Can Outfish Your Friends
Every time you spend a day on the water, you can always catch more fish. Whether you missed that brown tucked up against that log, your spent half the day untangling your knots, or you threw fly after fly not knowing what the trout were eating, we all miss fish. Since there is always room for improvement, we have to take action if we want more fish in our nets. A lot of us on the river, however, get lazy and revert to our “favorite flies” or typical water because we’ve had past success. That’s insane. River systems and the trout in them are some of the most dynamic environments in the world. With all the change that is happening every moment on the water, we need to be as adaptive as the fish are to their changing environments.
I’m going to outline three simple, yet very effective ways to catch way more fish on your next adventure. If you actually apply these tips, you will catch more fish next time and every time you go back out on the water.
Cover More Water
Find the Feeding Pattern for the Day
So many of us find the first hole we see, plant ourselves in it and rinse and repeat the same cast hoping for different outcomes. We are missing a lot of actively feeding fish by staying in one place. The key is to find fish willing to eat your fly. Even with a poor cast and a less than perfect fly, covering water will still produce the most willing fish.
I recommend spending no more than 15 minutes in the same spot. 90% of the fish in the river will take a well-presented fly in the first 3 casts. The rest will take a lot of convincing and if you want to catch more fish during the day, you can’t waste your time on the investigative trout. Catch the ones willing to eat quickly, then move on to the next fishable section and catch some more. Virgin waters are key, fish do get wary of your presence, so keep your time in each spot short, sweet and productive.
Another great side effect of this tip is that you will get to see a lot of river and you may discover some holes or runs that are just stacked with fish that you never see cause it’s 30 minutes up river of where you normally fish. In addition, as you cover water you’re understanding of fish patterns for that day develop and you’ll be able to identify the trends in where the feeding trout live. Often times, after covering water for less than an hour, I’ll find that fish are feeding in the tailouts of holes and I’ll begin to adjust my approach to each hole knowing that the fish are near the back feeding. I wouldn’t figure out this trend if I didn’t fish 10 holes prior and see the consistent pattern.
Bottom Line – Spend no More Than 15 Minutes in a Hole
Have the Right Seasonal Flies
Don’t Show Up Unprepared
Don’t bring your hoppers to the river on a cold April day and don’t leave your tricos at home in August. Having the basic knowledge of local hatches for the river based on the seasons is key. You don’t have to know when the hatch is going on as much as knowing its that bugs “season”. Insects to have in your box depend on the season and the region you fish. The same hatches will be happening in Colorado as they are Wyoming, Montana, Utah and California for the most part during the same season. Making sure you have a variety of insects covering all the stages of major hatches for that region will keep you equipped. Nothing worse than having all the knowledge that the hendricksons are hatching on the water and all you have is stonefly patterns in your box.
This knowledge of having the right flies per region and per season takes time to learn and understand and is a much larger topic. If you’re really serious about catching more fish, I’d recommend checking out our Entomology course which will help you learn to understand the flies to have in your box based on the seasons.
If you are looking for a quick cheat sheet of the right flies to have, check out our assortments and find the right fly assortment for you to make sure your box is stocked for your next adventure.
Bottom Line – Come prepared for the season and region
If you need some ideas for flies to bring per season, we have some assortments to check out. Use them to stock your box or just give you some ideas on what flies you should have for the season.
Spend 5 Minutes Observing
Match the Hatch Above and Below the Water
Don’t rig up at the car. Unless you were fishing here yesterday and you got it all figured out, you are making a huge mistake. Grab your gear, walk down to the river and spend 5 minutes observing what’s going on. Then, if you have a bug seine like what we include in our Entomology course, flip over some rocks and collect the insects in the water. As you see the insects and identify them as mayfly nymphs or caddis pupa, you’ll have a way better idea what the fish are eating. Why would you tie on a prince nymph if the fish are eating midges? You wouldn’t, but you won’t know what the fish are eating until you spend 5 minutes observing what’s going on above and below the water in terms of insects.
I know most of you are probably thinking, “That’s good advice, but I don’t know a mayfly from a caddis…”. We get it, that’s not easy information to find online with accuracy. That’s why we’ve put together the most in-depth and practical online entomology course. We cover every insect trout eat, teach you how to identify it and match it to a fly in your box. This way you can fish with confidence that your flies are on the menu giving you the greatest chance to catch more fish anywhere you go.
Bottom Line – Know Your Bugs & Find Them Before Rigging Up
Take Action to Catch More Fish
If you actually do these three tips (and you weren’t already doing them) I can promise you that you’ll catch more fish on your next trip. Nature gives us all the clues we need to be successful, it’s an anglers task to explore, identify and imitate those natural clues in order to catch fish. If you come prepared, cover water and know your bugs, you can out fish your friends who rig up at the car and root down on their favorite hole every time.