Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Distance, that bad word

I keep hearing the comment that we don’t have to cast far to catch fish. At our recent clave, I overheard the comment that on the Skeena, the fish are only 40’ from the bank, so only switch rods are needed.

Makes me wonder if this is a case of searching for our lost car keys, not where we lost them on that dark road, but under the street lamp because that’s where it’s light enough to see.

When fall flow rates are at normal levels, fish can be scattered all over Ontario’s wide, slow Grand River. Casting short distances using the Skeena model would leave a lot of fish unmolested. Being able to cast far and cover the water introduces our fly to more fish.

If the middle of our river is fast and deep, the steelhead may well move up its margins, but the slower undersides of those fast middle flows also offer a route for the fish. It’s always instructive to stand on a high bank or bridge over a clear river and watch steelhead move. On one drift trip on a very clear river, I saw plenty of steelhead in the deep, middle flows. So is the Skeena model a case of the fish only being in the margins or a problem with the tackle not being able to get the fly to those fish that are farther out?

To maximize our chances, we need our tackle to provide a broad fishing range, both in the distances covered and the depths reached. There’s no problem limiting ourselves to little rods and the shallow depths if that’s what we enjoy. After all, this business is about having fun. This isn’t the only choice however, so it shouldn’t be presented as such. An angler who can cast far and fish deep as well as short and shallow, will catch more fish. Period.