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Fishing up vs down?

2012/8/4 12:32
From Honey Brook
Posts: 14
Guys (and Gals),
Was reading Selective Trout by Swisher and Richards and they suggest fishing nymphs and emergers down stream as "especially effective for the sulphur hatch, probably due to the orientation of the natural in the surface film". I'm interpreting that as the down stream dead drift tends to orient the emerger or nymph facing up stream which I would guess is the more natural orientation. Just wondering your thoughts on this technique in general, but also particularly on sulphurs? Do you think it makes a significant difference with heavily fished selective trout? I've often noticed other fishermen fishing down stream when they had the option to go either way and wonderd what their thinking was since I always thought an up stream cast and approach had advantages in stealth, but also being a bit easier in terms of line control and getting a dead drift.

As always, your thoughts and experience are appreciated.

Posted on: 4/13 12:22

Re: Fishing up vs down?
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 22149
Unless you are walking while casting, you are always fishing from a stationary location and you can cast up or downstream, it really is that flexible. But having said that, I usually fish upstream from a stealth point of view-- that is I "work my way" upstream. If I am ever working downstream, it is because someone is directly upstream of me, or because I am returning to my car.

Posted on: 4/13 12:31

Edited by JackM on 2014/4/15 12:42:32
I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank

Re: Fishing up vs down?

2011/6/12 20:15
From Newville, PA
Posts: 405
I tend to limit downstream dry/emerger fishing to situations which do not lend themselves to any other approach angle. One thing to remember when fishing dries downstream is to delay your hook set. A friend from England says "God save the queen" before lifting his rod. It takes some practice, and a few missed trout, to get over the urge to act immediately after the take.

Posted on: 4/13 18:07
Time is but a stream we go fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It's thin current slides away, but eternity remains.
Henry David Thoreau

Re: Fishing up vs down?

2006/9/16 23:22
Posts: 582
I prefer fishing down, but I'm usually nymphing or fishing streamers of some sort.

Posted on: 4/13 20:20

Re: Fishing up vs down?

3/18 18:54
Posts: 39
You're gonna likely get a lot of answers to this, but from a complete newbie here, I fished the Conewago this past weekend upstream and it worked out well. I was able to eye the pool above me and the riffles in-between well enough without spooking too many fish (though, in all fairness, we all spook SOME fish regardless of how stealthy we are). I was also able to cover all areas of the water in an upstream "V" shape by casting quartering left, directly upstream, and quartering right where applicable. It also allowed me to cast quartering upstream from the left-side bank (I'm a right-handed caster) and dead-drift all the way down past me perpendicular to the bank, finishing down and away. With the wet flies and streamers, and even nymph patterns, the sweep at the end of the drift seems to be when the trout smack it because it pulls the fly upward (many emerging nymphs do just that in the water so that's when trout strike). In my situation on the Conewago, they hit right as the fly became perpendicular to my body, or at the most "dead" drift spot of the presentation. I dunno, again, experiment and see what works. I know guys who have caught trout on their backcast by accident. LOL

My video - posted in the Beginner Forum - shows that I was fishing a quartering up-stream dead-drift of a caddis BH nymph and that landed me two very nice rainbows. To me, upstream gives me more variety in presentation and helps my big frame to stay as hidden as possible (I'm a tall and broad-shouldered guy). I think the most important factor of upstream presentation is that the fish are mostly facing away from you. You can still spook them by casting shadows, your fly line landing noisily on the water or too close to a spooky fish, etc., but by and large having that advantage and blowing doesn't negate the advantage itself. ;)

Posted on: 4/14 13:37

Re: Fishing up vs down?

2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13363
If given the choice, I generally fish up. But there are no hard and fast rules, and often specific situations dictate a different approach.

#1. On small, clear water, where fish are spooky, it is more important to go UP, and approach fish from the rear. Exceptions exist when brush forces you too close from the rear, but the front is open, and you can drift something down through. Still, on small streams, I am moving upstream, not down, even if an individual hole or two calls for me to go around and cast from the top.

#2. When swinging wets, I generally work downstream. Casting out or slightly up, and let it swing down and around. Take one step down. Rinse and repeat.

#3. When nymphing, I generally work upstream. That said, I do indeed play out the casts below me, and strikes do often come when you begin to lift it off the bottom at the end of the drift. You just gotta cast up to get it deep enough.

#4. With bigger water dry flies, I'm a hole hopper, so overall movement can be either, both, back and forth, or whatever. How I approach each individual spot depends on the local currents and where I think I'll get the best drift. And once there, I find myself constantly moving up or down to get a slightly better drift. But all else being equal, I'd prefer to work up and cast up, due to being less likely to spook the fish as well as the better hooking % when they're upstream of you.

Posted on: 4/14 14:48

Re: Fishing up vs down?

2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1432
As I said before, "only us truly short people can sneak up on a trout head on".

Posted on: 4/23 16:22
"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF

Re: Fishing up vs down?

2006/9/11 11:34
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 465
Interesting...I never put much thought into the "orientation" of the fly, assuming that means if the fly is facing up or down stream. I'm not a bug expert but I would guess the naturals are flailing around and could end up in any direction.
Now if orientation means in the film, on the surface or below then this does make the film being the key and fishing downstream could help you feed line/lower rod to keep the fly right in the film where you need it.

Posted on: 4/24 11:40

Re: Fishing up vs down?

5/3 4:29
From Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 24
Streamers down stream...

Dries...either depending on situation or fly size...smaller flies like tricos I tend to fish downstream with a huge slack line cast. And when fish are keyed in on a hatch they tend to be a little less spooky.

Nymphing...if I'm high sticking...upstream. Indicator nymphing, either, but mainly upstream with a tuck cast.

But by and large I fish upstream. The value in being stealthy is understated. Getting on your hands and knees and creeping up to a fish or a run will make you look silly, but may result in spooking less fish. My fishing buddy makes fun of me and my ninja ways.

Also, when trout pod up like what bows commonly do...the larger fish tend to be at the head of a attacking a pod from the rear will allow you to pick off trout from the back without spooking the fish up front as much.

That's why when I'm fishing a pool and some bait guy sneaks in 10 yards up stream from me...I leave. Mainly to stop myself from strangling them.

Posted on: 5/5 7:52

Re: Fishing up vs down?

2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
Posts: 394
I've done what DrNymph said above. Let out a huge slack line cast down stream and then keep feeding it some line. It can be fun and good practice managing your line. The trick is to have enough slack that when you shake out excess line it doesn't affect your drift...This also presents the problem of having too much slack that it may be hard to set the hook. You have to find a good balance. If done right you can get a really long natural drift.

Posted on: 7/21 10:00

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