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Fishing Crowded Waters

I love that our sport seems to be growing but man have my home waters become crowded, even on non-holidays. So I thought I would share some of my tips on fishing heavily pressured water.

I know I have used this comparison with most folks that I have had the fortune of guiding - if you were to trace the path of all of the fisherman moving through a section of the river it would look like a hurricane prediction map. Almost everyone will take a similar path. Be the European model. Stray from where your eyes and brain naturally want to take you and look for nearby areas that are a little harder to get to or just off the beaten path.

Don't always assume fish run to deep water to hide out. I have noticed, especially with wild fish, they will also find shallow riffles to sit in.

Sometimes fishing downstream provides more stealth, especially if indicator fishing or dry dropping. Fishing upstream will sometimes spook fish that see anything come overhead, even just a leader or small dry fly. Fishing to the side and downstream present the flies first.

If you see fish try and notice if they are eating or sitting. I commonly see fish that simply won't eat, move from those guys and find feeding fish. Before moving try jigging your flies or a small streamer to get a reaction bite.

If you do find feeding fish and feel like you have the right pattern but the still won't bite, make sure you are changing bead colors, fly color, and then downsize. I have found heavily pressured fish are more likely to eat small stuff, but once and a while it pays to go big and ugly.


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