First Tuesday Tips

Tip 1: Fish Where the Guides Don't Take Their Clients

(This is Tip 93 in Skip's book, 365 Fly Fishing Tips for Trout, Bass, and Panfish)

This First Tuesday Tips: Tip 1 applies to Trout in Streams, Trout in Lakes, Largemouth Bass in Lakes, Smallmouth Bass in Lakes, Smallmouth Bass in Streams, and Panfish in Lakes.

First Tuesday Tips, Tip 1: Fish Where the Guides Don't Take Their ClientsI had to stay low and cast quietly in order to present my fly to the nervous trout that were holding in this soft, shallow side channel. (Note the river to the left.)
(photo ©Carol Ann Morris)

First Tuesday Tips, Tip 1: Fish Where the Guides Don't Take Their ClientsIt worked! It’d be a rare client a guide would put this water and on these trout. Guides want steady action for their clients, and some fine fishing places like this offer only action that’s slow, demanding, and uncertain. Awfully fun, though.
(photo ©Carol Ann Morris)

Fishing guides and their clients have the same right to the water you and I have. But we needn’t all share the same parts of it.

Example. Two weeks ago Carol and I hiked upstream from a public boat launch on a large Montana river to fish some braided water. A drift boat would occasionally come through, but always through the largest braid, where there was room for a boat. None of the guides parked their boats to walk their clients up to fish the creek-size braids we fished. But those little braids were good. In one I landed an 18-inch rainbow and a bunch of cutthroats of various lengths while Carol happily took photos.

Guides often ignore braids because (1) when drifting rivers, guides have to hit their takeout points on time and can’t afford to dally, (2) braids can be tricky to fish, and (3) a little braid isn’t going to satisfy a client who came to fish a large river.

We also found a small, tight, deep eddy with trout rising among patches of white foam. An awkward spot to fish and a tough one to figure out. We finally realized we had to just keep putting the fly in the foam until a trout happened onto it. But would a guide set a client on that water and expect that client to make cast after cast to the same small area until something happened, while complex currents tried constantly to put on drag the fly? A smart guide wouldn’t—most clients would fumble the spot, or grow bored with it.

Rivers, lakes, trout, bass—there are typically all sorts of awkward or difficult or challenging places holding plenty of fish that guides and their clients don’t bother. So go to those places and bother some fish.

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500 Trout Streams...

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