The Short Game

Sean Visintainer - 07/22/18

Idaho Fly Fishing

Don't miss out out on the fish right under your nose

As I was writing my last post about trout spey and talking about covering mid river slots it got me thinking about something Tom Larimer said to me probably about 15 years ago while spey fishing on the Deschutes. Don't skip the short game. So what did Tom mean by that? Don't skip the short game? It is very simple.

Whether you are spey fishing, or just regular single hand fly fishing for that matter, don't miss out on the water closest to you.

We will talk spey for moment. Often when entering a run to swing, anglers will start at the head and work their way down the run. Spey anglers are the most notorious for this, they strip out a bunch of line and proceed to huck across the entire river covering as much water as they can on each cast. That is awesome you can chuck a mile, but what about those initial moments when first entering the water?

Fish, whether trout, steelhead, or bass, will often tuck into the inside of that riffle or run. Right at the head of it. A great place to rest from the heavy current or ambush prey. Many anglers walk right into the run where they first should be casting to. The best approach is to start above run (or back from the run if dry fly fishing or nymphing), and stay stationary while starting to cover the water with short cast, each swing or drift progressively getting longer until you reach your longest cast that you will probably make. Then proceed to move down the run or further out into the water that you originally intended to reach.

Your first few cast may not even really be much of a cast, especially if fishing spey rods. Those first few until you get your full shooting head out are often just a flip of the leader or sink-tip. As you start to get more shooting head out, then the flip starts to convert to more of classic spey cast.

You would be surprised how many fish are tucked into that upper most, inside corner of the run as the current breaks off the bank or structure. Just a simple few cast while on shore can add more fish to your day. And if you don't catch anything there before fishing the run? Who cares. At least you know that you checked all the nooks-and-crannies in the run beforehand.

Trout Spey Fishing