Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tip of the Week--Walk That Dog

A lot of what I talk about when fishing on the Missouri applies to fishing out of boats. It also has a lot to do with nymph fishing because for the beginners or even for those that want to put a good number of fish to the net, nymphing is the bread-winner and with a boat, an angler can get to spots that wade fishers can't. It's also way easier to get a good, long presentation when drifting out of a boat so as a guide, that's what we normally do.

If you are wade fishing, one of the challenges is fishing those deep shelves where the fish are hanging out at this time of the year and keeping your rigs in the water long enough to get it down to them. Sometimes those fish are hanging in seven or eight feet of water and unless you're dropping a Czech nymph with a BBB, you won't get down to them with the limited drift you can get by standing still. I've played the game; standing in waste deep water, casting as far upstream as possible trying to throw a huge loop back up over the indicator in order to get that perfect drift...your flies are finally sinking to the right depth by the time your indicator drifts by so you feed 70 feet of line out to cover as much water as possible before stripping it all back in to try to do it again. It's tedious work and because your spending more time managing your line and casting, you don't have your bugs where they live nearly long enough to make the best use of your time. There is an alternative...

The Missouri has an incredibly forgiving bottom with sand and small pebbles covering the floor for the most part. There are also a lot of long runs that drop off shelves and fish love that. One of the things I like to do when wading is to "walk the dog." I cast at a ninety out towards the middle of the river and throw a big, up-stream mend. As the rig drifts downstream, I just follow it; walking with it much like I would if I were drifting out of a boat, making little adjustments mending as I go. Some runs are 100 yards long so if you're fishing with your buddy, you both can fish the run just cycling each other, covering a lot of water and keeping your bugs in front of their noses longer. When you're done, jump up to the top and do it all over again. You'll cast a fraction of the time and you'll be in the zone longer and I'm confident, you'll bring more fish to the net.

Keep 'em where they live...

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