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Home Fly Fishing Techniques How to Approach a Trout Lie


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How to Approach a Trout Lie

      Picturre of a fly fisherman on Harper Creek


      Once you have learned to identify each species' feeding and prime lies within a stream, you will need to learn how to approach the lie without spooking the fish. Thus, it is helpful at this point to adopt the attitude of a hunter rather than that of a fisherman. First, you must understand that a trout grows up paranoid and rightly so because there a lot of predators that like to eat trout. Also, a trout's mentality is: If it moves, RUN! If it doesn't move, RUN ANYWAY! In addition, it is important to be aware that Trout have 330 degrees of horizontal vision and 160 degrees of vertical vision! Thus, a trout lying beneath the surface of the water will have a cone of vision through which they can see the surface world that grows smaller as the trout rises or as the water gets shallower. Furthermore, while it is not likely that trout have the ability to recognize us as humans, they do have thousands of years of genetic memory that tells them what a bear looks like and, since a human looks vaguely like a bear standing on its hind legs, sight of a human automatically triggers their flight response.    


     So, when approaching a trout's feeding or prime lie, it is imperative that you stop and closely examine the lie you intend to fish and its surrounding area and then create a plan of approach to account for the type of terrain and water flow you will have to wade through to reach a viable casting position. Next, it is important to note and take advantage of any cover that you may use to conceal your approach such as streamside foliage, boulders and large rocks, logs, and sandbars. Then, once you have taken note of any streamside foliage that may interfere with your cast, any still water that may cause ripples, any rough terrain that may cause you to stumble, and any cover you can use to conceal yourself, you can start your approach to the lie you intend to fish. But, since trout have 160° of vertical vision, that leaves a fly fisherman a mere 10° to hide in so, whenever you are not concealed by cover of some sort, you must crouch down as low as possible to avoid being seen by the trout while moving into your chosen casting position. Then, once you are where you want to be, you must still remain as low as possible to avoid being seen by the trout while casting so, try practicing your cast in your yard while kneeling on your knees and toes.




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