Elevate Yourself to Increase the Distance You Can High-Stick

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This rock allowed me to high-stick the far side and catch three trout. Photo Louis Cahill

Most of the time when your fly fishing for trout, the last thing you want to do is elevate yourself.

In most scenarios, that will usually do more harm than good, by increasing the chances of trout spotting you and spooking. Notice I said “most scenarios”, every once in a while, an angler is forced to go against traditional principles to find success. The other day, I found myself trying to fish an eddy and slow water seam on the far bank. Making the cast wasn’t the problem, it was getting a long enough drag-free drift to get my fly to the fish.

Even with my best high-sticking efforts, every cast the super fast water between me and my target water would grab my fly line and suck my flies out prematurely. After a couple minutes of struggling with my drifts and failing to get any bites, I decided to climb up on a boulder next to me. This elevated me three feet, and allowed me to keep 100% of my fly line off the water and get that long drag-free drift.

I caught three trout after climbing up on that rock. It was my saving grace. Without the high water conditions, it probably wouldn’t have worked out so well for me. I walked away from that hole thinking, sometimes we got to do our own thing, in order to catch fish. Even if it means going against traditional fly fishing teachings.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Elevate Yourself to Increase the Distance You Can High-Stick

  1. Thats one way to do it. Changing to a longer rod and a longer leader will also “elevate” you so to speak, which is why I often nymph fish (and other rigs) with 11′ to 16′ Tenkara rods. The long reach and the light line can get incredible drifts not possible with more standard fly tackle.

    • The scenario you described is exactly why I’ve gone to a mono rig (30 foot leader) for just about all of my nymph fishing. My home waters in WV are generally steep and fast, and not dealing with the sag of the fly line makes those far bank seams more attainable. That being said, I’ll absolutely stand on a boulder to get some reach. Great tip.

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