Reading The Body Language of Highly Aggressive Trout

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Bob Reece

As we move into the fall months, the use of streamer patterns typically increases for many fly fishers.

There are many factors that lead to success when pursuing trout with these beefy creations.    Evaluating the body language of the aggressive fish that chase these flies can improve your odds of hooking up.

Throughout the course of the year I have countless conversations with other fly fishers.  When these discussions are focused on streamer fishing, a common tale arises.  I’m repeatedly told stories of “missed” opportunities or last chance swipes from aggressive fish at the end of a retrieve or as the pattern is lifted from the water for another cast.   The excitement and emotion of these encounters is often evident in the eyes of the story teller.

While this story is common, its ending can often be avoided.  The end of a retrieve does not always mean the end of an opportunity to hook that fish of your dreams.  If an aggressive trout pauses where you finished your retrieve or actively searches the water or substrate, you should immediately place that offering back in its field of vision.  When I encounter these situations, I attempt to quickly place the fly in front of and off to either side of the fish.  As with many other fly fishing situations I avoid laying the line and leader directly over the top of the fish.  While this technique is not a guarantee of success, it will significantly improve your success rate.

During your next pursuit of streamer eating trout, keep your eyes on the prize.  Your visual awareness of each trout’s body language may alter the outcome of your day.  Increase your focus and be ready to offer those aggressive beasts another chance at your meaty offering.

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Bob Reece
Gink & Gasoline
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