Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Sight fishing needs CLEAR water, right?
In my experience it doesn't. But sight fishing in muddy water needs TIME and PATIENCE though!
Where I mostly fly fish for asp the water is pretty muddy. In some spots I can look signifcant less than an inch below the surface. So there isn't the slightest chance of spotting a fish to enter my casting zone as most anglers would tell.
Most (well, all) other anglers I watch fishing these waters cover all the water in front of them with (more or less) casting finesse while hoping for a fish to take their fly at some point within their casting range. Fly fishing the Carribean waters I quickly learnt that blind casting supports to spook a lot of fish always. Now it's fair to say that in clear water it often happens more easy to spook a fish. But then again I am sure that we do spook a lot of fish when blind casting muddy water as well. It's just that we may never realize this to happen.
Fish are excellent in finding our flies even in the muddiest water you can think of. Believe me they are as good in identifying danger!
Fly fishing for asp I have learnt some of my home water spots that much in detail that I can precisely tell when and where exactly some asp will be chasing bait fish. Often I can predict their feeding time about seconds. It's amazing. Once you start studying fish over a long time you will often (and for many species of fish) learn that they follow the same rhythms and path again and again at a certain time of the day (or night). That enables you to offer your fly just once right into their feeding zone instead of blind casting for hours while spooking them before they start feeding.
Besides that it's also a good idea to watch the (muddy) surface in detail and look out for small sign (swirls, fins and so on). Far more often as most of us realize we can spot a fish even in the muddiest water.
The most difficult part when sight fishing muddy water for me was learning to take time and stay patience instead of casting all the time. These days I like to even have a chair with me when fishing for asp (you may have a look at the pictures below). Sitting in that chair is like staying on a Tarpon skiff. I will be sitting in the READY position and then have just one quicky cast when I see a fish moving or when I feel (know) it's about time.
It did take me a lot of fishing time to accept that covering all water with casting finesse is not nearly as effective as taking my time and staying patience instead. It's exactly this by the way that made me learn most details about whatever fish I was after. Concentrating on the casting never helped me to open up my mind for the fish's behaviour.
Hopefully I could offer you another way to fish outside the box - and who knows - maybe improve your catches. This way of fishing has helped me to improve mine though!
Great week to all of you!
All my best
P.s.: As a side note for Paul: My last none fishing day was in the middle of March. ;)
My last days...