Take the Long Way Around on Spooky Trout
Recently I was fishing a small stream that I expected to be relatively easy fishing. Hoppers were everywhere and this isn't a "trophy trout" stream so what's the big deal? Most fish are 12" or so, with 16" being a whopper. Easy peasy. Other anglers told me about fishing here in the past and the way they described it sounded like a cake walk! Boy was I wrong.
I started out just walking up to the pools like normal, don't get me wrong - I'm not a total dunce but these fish were spooking at any movement. I scattered them while walking, I sprayed them all over the pool when casting, and finally after about 2 hours of not catching a single trout I buckled down and got smart. I really had to consider my approach.
In this situation the water was gin clear, super spooky, and the trout were quite fearful of threats from any predator. The sun was shining from a general upstream toward downstream direction, and I happened to be working downstream that day. My general preference is to work usptream on a small river, but didn't have that option. My shadow was a mile long, and any movement of my cast made an eclipse that was terrifying to them.
One Trout at a Time
I knew what I had to do. I was frustrated, so I made a concerted effort to navigate around the next pool on a wide route and shield myself by a row of trees. My goal was to catch ONE trout. After that I can worry about the next. I made long delicate casts back upstream and tried to keep my line in the current so that the drift was natural without mending. Check out the video, and if you find yourself scattering trout - take the long way around.