Fly Fishing Tips: Approaching Fish in Low Water

A nice brown trout caught last week down in Forge Bottom on Yellow Creek. Well done, Robert!

Anglers should consider approaching the stream as the first step to catching a fish in low water.

When water levels get lower, effectively approaching the stream will help anglers put more fish in the net. Approaching fish in a manner that does not disturb them is always important, but it is even more critical when flows are lower.

Not always, but generally when flows are lower that means the water will usually be clearer. Fly fishing in clear water can be a lot of fun, because it is easy to see and target specific fish. It’s also very important to keep in mind that the fish can also see anglers much easier in the lower, clearer water.

Since visibility in clear and water works both ways, anglers should make every effort to approach fish without disturbing them.

So, how do you get in position to cast without disturbing fish as you approach the stream in lower water? Follow these 3 tips:

1. Observe your beat. Take a minute to watch the section of water you intend to fish. Read the water. Notice any fish actively feeding. Then make a plan for how to get into casting position without disturbing fish. Observing the beat for a few minutes before casting is usually time well spent.

2. Use an Upstream Approach. Or in other words, sneak towards the fish from below where they are lying. By using an upstream approach, an angler keeps himself below the fish being targeted.  Being behind the fish you plan to catch is a great way to stay out of eye sight. Using an upstream approach isn’t always the most convenient, but it is usually the most productive in lower water.

3. Take your time. It seems simple, but it does require a little discipline. Try to avoid sudden movements and splashing water. Anglers who take their time and approach the water with caution usually get in position without disturbing the fish.

Give these 3 tips a try the next time you are approaching fish. Anglers that successfully approach the stream without disturbing fish usually net many more fish during lower water conditions.

If you still need to schedule your fall fishing trip, talk to Joel so he can help get you on the water.

One Response
  1. I like that you provided some fly fishing tips such as taking your time when trying to catch one. It is recommended that you be patient when trying to wait for your catch as any sudden movements would definitely shoo them away. You may also want to consider the time of day as these fishes tend to come near shallow waters at night. If I were to go on a fish charter to catch some fly fish, I would make sure to keep this in mind. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *