Sight Fishing for Trout

Sight Fishing for Trout

Before you can sight fish for trout, you have to be able to see them. The first step in spotting trout is using a good pair of polarized sunglasses and a good hat.

After you have good trout spotting gear, the rest is a learned skill and practice, practice, practice.

Sight fishing for Trout is a five step process

  1. Understanding where to start looking for trout and why they are in those spots. Trout need highly oxygenated water, overhead cover from predators including man, river cover from otters and other stream predators, shelter from heavy currents, a steady supply of food. Trout are lazy feeders. They have to get more energy from their food than they expend in catching it or they will die. Since trout have been around for some 400 million years, they have the survival bit down pat.
  2. Insight about looking in unconventional locations and why. Trout can often be found in slack water spots or small pools that look like they could never hold fish. A three foot pool of water that offers good cover can hold a 30 inch trout. The biggest clue to fishing unconventional water is to look at where all the fishermen are fishing and then find some quiet water for yourself.
  3. Knowledge of what to look for when locating a trout – one techniques is to find a spot where trout should be located, then stare at the stream bottom for at least 30 seconds. Let your peripheral vision work at spotting the movement of a tail, a trout drifting in and out of a feeding lie or the white flash of a mouth when a trout takes an insect are some of the signs to look for. Once you spot a trout, watch for a while for signs of whether the trout is actively feeding or resting. No sense casting to a resting fish.
  4. Knowing how to cast when sight fishing for trout – Just being an adequate caster is not enough when sight fishing to a trout. You must be able to accurately place your dry fly or nymph rig where it won’t spook your fish and will still drift into the trout’s feeding lane. This requires excellent skill at reading water to find the feeding lane. It requires knowledge of how and where to false cast to avoid spooking your target fish.
  5. Practice steps 1 through 4 until they are second nature. See Fly Fishing for Trout the Successful Way for more tips on trout fishing success.

Tight Lines,

Marshall Estes, Author
Successful Fly Fishing for Trout