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Bigfly 01-24-2011 07:55 PM

Sight fishing or blind fishing?
Just curious what percentage of time folks stalk a fish they can see, vs. throwing stuff out there and blindly drifting it.
Either dries or under an indicator.
No penalty for answering one way or the other.
This relates more to all the different waters out there,
and fishing/trout personalities too!
For myself, I prefer the stalk 100% of the time, but seem to come closer to 30+% fishing time for this approach on the Truckee River.

ausablebrown 01-24-2011 09:04 PM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
For me it all depends on the water. If I'm on a small clear stream and I CAN sight fish that is all I do. The only time I abandon sight fishing is when there are so many fish that it is not necessary or the water color/current/glare etc prevent me from seeing fish. Most (probably 90% or more) of my small stream PA fishing is sight fishing; but when I visit big waters like ausable it is pretty much impossible to see a fish unless he's feeding on top. I definitely sight fish if at all possible.

rangerrich99 01-24-2011 09:32 PM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
I like doing both, however, as I fish from a tube almost 70% of the time on a lake of some sort, I rarely actually see the fish I'm trying to catch before they hit. Unless they're rising, then of course, I suppose I'm sight fishing. Otherwise, I fish structure/cover to maximize my odds; casting blindly at open water can be some of the most frustrating fishing there is. If I get lucky and see 'nervous water,' or a flash of a fish subsurface, all to the better.

When I streamfish, I like sightfishing over blindcasting. I'm still learning to do this with any degree of efficiency, but that's part of the fun for me. When I think about it, I probably still do quite a bit of blindcasting, since many of the fish I catch in AZ streams are under 6 inches, and I just flat don't see them until they rise up to take my fly.

Naturally, I'd like to streamfish a bit more, and that in fact, is one of my resolutions for the year. However, multiple surgeries on both knees and ankles put a hard limit on how much hiking up and down canyons I can actually do.

This offseason I picked up some fancy knee and ankles braces, so maybe I'll get a chance to sightfish for some truly monster browns. One can dream, anyway.

Jimmie 01-24-2011 10:23 PM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
I voted blind for all of the small pocket water we fish. I don't want to skip a pocket whether I see a fish or not. Same with some of the meadow fishing when they will hide under the grassy banks. That, plus I'm pretty sure that I don't see them like you guys.

ChrisinselwynNZ 01-24-2011 10:56 PM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
I went with sight fishing, but I dont use an indicator for nymph fishing as I get close enough to see the mouth. I have trouble holding intrest fishing to a fish that might be there (and normaly let loose a few casual casts). But in most rivers that I fish they are clear and very shallow.


nerka 01-25-2011 01:04 AM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
It depends on the water and the situation. If I can see them, sure I pursue. More often I am reading the water and casting where I think fish probably are. I do love sight fishing for pike with big streamers.

ausablebrown 01-25-2011 08:31 AM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?

Originally Posted by rangerrich99 (Post 198717)
When I think about it, I probably still do quite a bit of blindcasting, since many of the fish I catch in AZ streams are under 6 inches, and I just flat don't see them until they rise up to take my fly.

That is true, fish a lot of riffle water and pull 4 or 5 Brookies out of it having never seen one of them. They sure know how to hide when they are the size of stream gravel!

FlyBum 01-25-2011 10:49 AM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
I prefer sight fishing, but this past year which was a return to fly fishing after several years I discovered I had a difficulty time seeing fish. Last year was also my first year for me wearing glasses at 47-years-old, not bad. Before this when I was fly fishing I had no trouble most of the time sight fishing.

Ard 01-25-2011 01:11 PM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
Hi everyone,

If you are a thread reader you may know I don't do a whole bunch of dry fly fishing since moving to AK. and the Indi thing.............. I'm a wet fly & streamer fisher here and I am a salmon addict. I fish for trout but I tend to get them and char the same way I catch the salmon so I'm adding a quick take on the sight vs. blind approach from my prospective, hope it makes sense for you.

I would be pulling your leg if I said any other than sight being the best way to catch a fish but there is of course a caveat; the hitch being that I must be sure that the fish I am watching is not in turn watching me. Unless a fish is fresh in from a hatchery truck and still associating the human from with food they are unlikely to be cooperative once they spot your looming form, so...................... err on the side of caution because that's what the fish do.

I also find conditions where sight of fish is not possible due to high or turbid water conditions. In these areas familiarization with the stream or river bed during low or clear water episodes is the key. Once you know where you are swimming a wet fly through and that the area is a known holding water the aspects of fishing 'blind' are much improved. You will also get a huge confidence building experience when you are rewarded buy a solid stop put to that swimming fly by a fish that you did not see but figured was present.


Frank Whiton 01-25-2011 02:34 PM

Re: Sight fishing or blind fishing?
Hi Everyone,

It is very seldom that I am able to site fish. I am vision impaired and depth perception is lousy. There has to be some movement by the fish or I will never spot it. So I rely much more on reading the water and fishing where the fish should be. This works pretty good and much more productive for me than trying to see the fish.


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