Being able to consistently see fish–before they see you–is one of the most underrated skills in fly-fishing. Many anglers mistakenly give all the credit to quality sunglasses or young eyes, but ultimately spotting fish is more often the result of practiced technique than good equipment.
In this video from Tactical Fly Fisher, Devin Olsen provides 12 tips to improve your sight-fishing success. He covers every step of the process along the way: how to spot fish, how to approach a fish you’ve spotted, and even specific ways to cast at it. Each tip is outlined below, along with a timestamp showing when it begins, if you prefer to skip around.
- Use color differences to spot fish (1:11)
- Focus your spotting efforts (2:01)
- Use a dark background to cut surface glare (2:40)
- Put the sun behind you (3:24)
- Spot from a high vantage point (3:53)
- Wait for “windows” in turbulent current (4:41)
- Take turns fishing and being a spotter (5:38)
- Stalk fish like a heron (6:12)
- Get as close as you can (7:23)
- Be willing to re-rig for each fish (8:20)
- Make a “measurement” cast first (9:19)
- Use a reach cast (10:16)