Fishing report: Slow down and look |

Fishing report: Slow down and look

Will Sands
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – As I let the dogs out of the truck and encouraged them to remain close without plowing into the river first and scaring our intended quarry, my fishing partner and I were able to spot some fish before we even wetted a line. To me, sight-fishing is one of the most enjoyable aspects of fishing. This time of the season, since water levels are naturally at their lowest annual volume, fish are easier to locate in general and easier to visually find.

Being able to watch a fish before attempting to catch it is certainly a thrill. Not only is it more exciting, but anglers really learn quite a bit more about their quarry. Often I find it more interesting to watch a fish or several fish just kind of doing their thing before even casting to them. Many times, as we did the other day, my fishing partner opted to watch from a different angle and assisted in coaching my presentation to the fish.

There are a couple simple common denominators to becoming more proficient at sight-fishing. The first is to slow down your approach and observe the river before hurrying in to fish. A good pair or two of polarized glasses are a must – one pair for all-around conditions and a second pair with a yellow lens for overcast days. Next is getting used to looking through the water’s surface and trying to observe trout sub-surface. Many anglers look at the surface and really never look through the layers. Last and most important, do not look for an entire fish.

Once an angler gets used to looking through the layers, then looking for an entire fish is often an angler’s next mistake. Instead, look for tell-tale signs of a fish – the movement of a tail, the reflection of sunlight on its flank. The white inside of a fish’s mouth is a dead giveaway of an actively feeding fish.

So this week, check in with your favorite local shop for what’s hot and where, then get out there, slow down, look around you and observe.

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