Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. Well we made it through the January doldrums way better than expected and now we are quickly getting into my favorite three months of the year, yep it is sight fishing time and the season that separates the men from the boys. I will never forget my first real experience with sight fishing and will always be grateful to my mentor Tony. I felt as if I was a pretty solid angler and had confidence in most situations but watching Tony sight out fish showed me how much I was missing out, it was the beginning of my obsession. I wanted to write this blog to give out a few simple tips to help our readers find the obsession that is sight fishing.
The first tip is just the sighting out of the fish. Now to start, I’m not talking about the Taylor Hogs resting above the bridge and emphatically not talking about the spawning fish sitting on redds in six inches of water, I’m talking about the fish feeding in riffles and other feeding lanes. The feeding fish are usually the most difficult to see but have the greatest reward. The way to start is take some time at the river looking into riffles and try to look at the bottom of the river. When you begin to see the bottom then look for abnormalities. Yes, I have been fooled more than once, but I would rather cast to a broken wine bottle than spook the fish of a lifetime. A great way of thinking about seeing the bottom is comparing the river to the posters that were around when I was younger, it just looks like a design but after looking for a while, a lion or whatever shows up and you can’t figure out why you didn’t see it from the beginning. The second thing to look for is color, with the fish beginning to spawn, on the sunny days look for red stripes and on cloudy days look for purplish hues. Now after you begin to see the pure number of fish in the river, next we talk about how to feed them.
One of the biggest difficulties I see with anglers is fly placement. With many clients over the years we have spotted out a monster big red stripe and after calming the nerves the client casts and the indicator lands at the head of the fish. I normally take a giant internal gasp and then we talk about where the flies are, compared to the indicator. Its great when the light comes on and the next cast has the flies drifting right by the mouth of the fish. So, one of my best tips is to think about where the flies are, it is rare to catch a fish with your indicator. And lastly, as the river begins to open up and look more like a 55inch HD TV and less like a kaleidoscope, start watching the mouth of the fish as the fly drifts by, but I have to warn you, once you watch a fish eat your nymph, January will never fish the same.
Now if you don’t have the time or the patience to learn this on your own, find a guide that can take the time to teach you these techniques. I know a pretty good one here in P-town and you can reach me at the Drift, come see what you are missing. And to finish off the blog I wanted to talk a little about spawning Redds. I started seeing them just over the last few days and they really should be filling the river over the next few weeks. Redds are clean splotches on the bottom of the river where you can on most days see big fish in a few inches of water. Think of these fish as your friends and if your friends were only in the mood once a year, wouldn’t you leave them alone. There are plenty of fish that are eating. And lastly, when you do catch a fish from a feeding lane take extra care getting any pics and get them back in the water as quick as possible. Our last two years have had really successful spawns, but we had a little more water hiding the redds. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…….