I often encourage anglers to cast next to bushes or under trees. Sometimes I get replies along the lines of, “I would, but I don’t want to lose your flies”.
While that is considerate, fishing hard and losing flies is all part of a day on the water. Risking a fly to catch a fish is worth it. Ultimately, that’s what the flies are for…
Fish relate to structure. It’s no coincidence that especially big fish are often around log jams, under overhanging trees, or tucked next to streamside brush. Fishing close to the structures that hold large fish is a necessary evil.
Making risky casts and difficult drifts will give anglers the ability to catch fish that otherwise wouldn’t see their fly. Putting a few extra fish in the net is worth losing a few flies. There is an even larger number of flies I would gladly give up to pull a large fish out of his “risky” hiding spot.
The next time you are on the water, try a couple casts in tight spots around trees. Make a few difficult drifts next to log jams. Take on the risk of losing a fly. You might be surprised how the river rewards you.
Guides have a handful of tricks for fishing around structure. They also have a few tricks for how to get flies out of trees and off rocks. This would be a great topic for instruction from a guide during your next day on the water here at the club.