trout fishing. upstream or downstream?

Discussion in ', Fly Tying, Trout Fishing' started by Thorzep, May 2, 2013.

  1. is it better when wading to cast up stream or downstream for trout?
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  2. Always fish downstream after doing a cannonball into the river. The fish are attracted to the splash.

  3. I fish streamers down, but on smaller creeks wading up spooks less fish... if you r on big enough water you could do either

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  4. thanks for replys. i didnt know if trout were particular to which way there food was traveling
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  5. Upstream or down depends on a method and situation. Dry flies and nymphs you generally work upstream, though if you know some casting tricks, you can fish them downstream. Wet flies, soft hackles work well either upstream or down. Streamers are generally fished wading downstream, though at times you may need to cast upstream to give them some extra "sink time" before the strip.

    Whether fishing against the current or down, in time you can figure out how to make a presentation that gets bit! Half the fun is figuring it out.
  6. Upstream if only because it's a lot easier to wade back downstream if you have to wade back to your put in spot.

    Fishing all day and then realizing you have an hour wade back against the current to the car can be a bit frustrating on a hot day if the water is deep.
  7. I usually fish down. With a reach cast or a mend, you can get a nice dead drift without lining. I think it is quieter too. I never considered what Oh Yeah said, that would be good thinking in that situation. I can see the benefit of wading up on a real small stream. Guess it's important to be flexible.
  8. For an afternoon trip, I wade downstream swinging steamers or a nymph. As it gets closer to dark I fish dries back upstream heading back to the truck. The dries are usually more effective late in the evening and streamers do well for me earlier in the day.
  9. I do about the opposite of Sasquatch: fish upstream with dry flies or nymphs until dusk, then at dark tie on a much heavier leader & large unweighted buck tail & cast across the current & swing down. Many strikes come at drift's end.

    I'm talking any trout before dark, browns after that.
  10. I like to wade upstream first, walk back with current too. But, i think the Q was about casting...

    Nymphs and dries can be thrown upstream, just be mindful of where your line is. The fish might see the line before they see any flies. Curve casts can help.
  11. i primarily fish spinners...thx for the replys guys
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  12. Spinners, your best bet it to cast upstream and reel them back down stream. But mix it up I have caught fish all different ways with spinners.
  13. I’d say it is a complex question, In general fishing upstream is preferred because most often the fish are facing away from you making it easier to close the distance. The closer you get, the shorter the cast you have to make with either bait or fly or lure.

    Doesn’t matter if your on shore or wading a quiet low profile approach works best. If wading, move slow enough so your not creating a wake in front of you. It’s called pushing water and if you can see even a little wave your moving to fast. Remember trout can feel a minnow swimming from a good distance, so detecting a person isn’t difficult.

    One disadvantage to fishing upstream if your fly line is quite visible and if you lay it over the trout, they may spook. In clear water use a longer and lighter leader and move to a position that allows you to keep your main line off to the side of where you think the trout might be positioned.

    On smaller streams with muck bottoms and lots of cover there are big disadvantages for both spinner and fly fishermen but easier for bait fishermen to present a bait. Skilled nymph fishermen can do well but it takes lots of practice. Typically these streams are best fished downstream and from the bank.

    Mid sized rivers like the PM, Pine, Little Manistee, White and Betsie can be fished both ways but fishing upstream is a better option. In streams with lots of gravel, wading downstream while shuffling your feet will force insects and invertebrates into the current and will often trigger the trout to feed, similar to chumming but even then it should be done subtlety.

    Big rivers like the Big Muskegon and Big Manistee are best fished from a boat because one can cover a lot more water. There are many places to wade or fish from shore on these rivers, but often some of the best places are crowded. Combat fishing is much more difficult because the fish have been pressured but even then practicing finesse methods can still provide lots of action. When fishing from either a boat or from shore, I like to position myself so I can cast upstream on an angle and finish my drift at the bottom of the hole or slowly work my way down if the run is very long.

    One another note, there are plenty of topo or contour maps available that will help plan a trip on foot. I know dozens of places where I can park, cut through the woods and fish back close to where I parked. All that takes time and effort but with modern tools like a GPS you can learn in days what it took me years to learn in some cases.

    Finally one of the most productive ways to fish is by floating. Rivers like the LM are small enough that it is difficult not to spook the trout. In a case like that, I park my boat, cut through the woods to a spot downstream and work my way back upstream to my boat and repeat the process. Rivers like the PM can be floated and fished without spooking the trout because it is wider and deeper than the LM. In any event, floating will get you to places sometimes impossible to fish from shore or by wading and to areas where there is much less fishing pressure.

    Because of efforts of conservation groups and our MDNR fishing is as good or better than it ever has been and I believe will only continue to get better. There are plenty of trophy fish in most of our natural trout rivers and plenty of good trout fishing on our marginal trout rivers. Marginal rivers like the Big Muskegon, the lower Big Manistee, the White and Betsie also offer excellent opportunities from fall to late spring for anadromous fish.
  14. I also fish up stream when using dry flies, and fish downstream with streamers. The reason I fish upstream with dry flies is because in most occasions they are facing upstream waiting for flies to drift down, so you come from behind therefore you see them first.
  15. Great post there, splitshot.

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