Attack the Angles When Fishing Streamers
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Image: David McKenzie
Fishing around structure and cover. It's something I love to do whether I'm casting around pilings, weedlines, or a solitary boulder in a river. The precise presentations and anticipation of my fly getting ambushed by some lurking lunker keeps the interest and excitement high, even when fishing is slow overall.
When fishing what I feel is a very likely spot, I'm not the type to just make a few presentations and move on — in fact, it kind of drives me crazy when I'm fishing on a friend's boat and they zip through a promising zone quicker than I'd like. I often want to sit there and dissect it for a few minutes! But, when I'm a guest, I try to be courteous and let them fish the way they prefer. I've talked before about the ways I like to pick apart a likely area, whether it's a piece of structure, cover, or simply a smaller distinct piece of holding water that I think has extreme potential. Fishing different depths, trying different flies, and varying retrieval speeds are some of the ways to mix things up and hopefully trigger a fish to strike. Besides these three examples, there's another less-obvious method — casting at different angles.
Fishing a likely spot at different angles can work for several reasons... - It gives the fish a new look since the fly is swimming a new direction. This may allow them to ambush it easier or track the fly more comfortably (such as in deeper water) before striking. - Depending on conditions, a fish may want your fly to act a certain way in wind or natural current. Whether that's the fly coming across, hanging in, or swimming with the current, one can work when the others fail.
- Casting at different angles can allow you to access new fish. Often times, a fish is holding in a tight little spot and won't want to move far to grab a fly. This can be especially true when thinking of fish holding on something like a rock or tree limb. When you pepper that area with more casts at various angles, your odds of more fish being able to get a good shot at the fly goes up.
- Depending on wind/current, changing angles so that your rig flows more freely with the current can help your fly sink a little deeper than previous presentations. I can think of countless times where even just a few inches more depth was enough to get a fish to strike.
When fishing a large area, I tend to methodically spread my casts out and cover it at a modest, yet constant pace. However, when I come across a particular spot where I think there's an especially high probability of fish being present, that's when I stop and really take the time to fish it more carefully. Changing my presentation angles is just one way to fish more precisely and I fully believe it helps me catch more fish!
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