When mousing for trout, we tend to target fish using two different methods – banging the banks from the boat while rowing ‘drift boat style,’ or walking smaller side channels on foot.
Both methods have their advantages. Fishing from a moving boat covers far more water than wading, in theory allowing you to put your fly in front of more fish in a shorter amount of time. On the other hand, fishing on foot allows the opportunity to slow down and work each piece of fishy looking water more precisely.
As many are aware, when fishing for trout on foot, its often best to work upstream. Doing so allows you to stay concealed to a fish that spends its life facing into the current. Makes sense, right?
We find this especially important when mousing for trout. During the first half of our season, its not uncommon to find more than one trout snuggled up to same piece of structure. We’ve seen two, three, even four fish in a row taken from the same snag on more than one occasion. However, the key to hooking more than one fish per lie comes from your approach..
When mousing on foot, always present your fly to the downstream side of structure or holding lie first, working your way upstream. Should you hook a fish on the downstream side of the structure, the fish can be easily coaxed further downstream during the fight, leaving the front (upstream side) of the structure relatively untouched to be targeted thereafter.
On the other hand, should you hook a fish on the upstream side of the structure, first, there’s a good chance the commotion from the fight could spook other fish in the same lie.
Target the downstream side of the structure first, and you might be surprised how many fish are in there.