Drift boat fishing tips

Bigfly

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All of that info was spot on! Those tips are the essential core of boat fishing.
Many struggle to learn them....many never do.
The follow up tip I'd give.....learn, really learn to fish before fishing out of a boat. If you know how to get a drift OUT of a boat, you will do even better in a boat. TOO many folks think the boat is the panacea to catching fish.....mostly the guide is getting the drift for you by pacing your bobber, or dry......
Thanks Kev.....

Jim
 
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ia_trouter

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Jim, The only addition my guide buddy would add after fishing with me is
Tip 16: You don’t need to ask permission to mend. After being told 317 times to throw an upstream mend it is ok to take the initiative and just do it:D

Kev
Guides seem to say that a lot. I think you are supposed to start mending while you are still in your back cast. :)
 

silver creek

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I thought this was a good article with some tips for the”rookie” drift boat client. I chuckled a few times to myself at how many times my guide, Dave, has stressed these exact tips

Kev

15 Tips For Effective Fly-Fishing From A Drift Boat | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

I have a problem with tip # 2 = Don’t cast over the boat.

My problem is that it is easy to say but if the angler has never practiced this, it is hard for them to do. It the angler cannot off shoulder cast, it locks them into fishing just one side of the drift. Not getting the picture? Allow me to explain.

Imagine a right handed caster at the back of the drift boat which fishing the left bank as it faces drifts downstream. The natural cast is over his right shoulder with the rod tilted to the right, which will take the cast right over the middle of the boat and right by the guide.

To cast to the left bank, the caster must do an off shoulder cast by tilting the rod over his LEFT shoulder and casting UPSTREAM which is to his RIGHT. This is an off shoulder cross body cast; AND if the he is fishing a dry, the angler must have enough control to false cast accurately! How many anglers do you know who practice that before hiring a guide for a float trip?

What if the prime lie is under an overhanging branch? How many anglers can cross body side arm cast to lay a fly accurately with a cross body side arm cast., essentially delivering the fly with their back cast?

If the right handed angler cannot make the off shoulder and off sided casts, he/she can only fish the right side of the boat which is away from the bank.

To become proficient, these off shoulder and off sided casts must be practiced by the angler when he/she is wade fishing. How is that done?

For a right handed caster, fish the left handed bank when wading upstream by using off shoulder overhead casts. Here’s the thing. When you are actually fishing, you are reading the water and casting to a target. This is exactly the type of “practice” that will eventually make you a better fly fisher. Instead of casting over your dominant shoulder, use this opportunity to practice the off shoulder casts.

As you can see from the video below, these off shoulder casts are also valuable for dealing with wind.

Here endith the sermon……

ECHO Casting Tips - Off-Shoulder Cast on Vimeo
 

k_e_v

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Silver, I had a problem with #2 also. Besides your well stated points I can’t remember a guide ever asking me or my partners to not cast over the boat. I have taken 3 first time anglers with on these trips and that never came up.
I have become reasonably adept at the off shoulder and side casts and use them more to combat unfavorable wind direction when floating.

Happy Fourth everyone
Kev
 

al_a

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I solve the over the boat cast thing by being ambidextrous with my casting...I've fished enough from drift boats (and rafts) that I've trained myself to cast with my left hand almost as well as I can with my right. Solves a LOT of problems. I'd say most people can do it if they resolve to practice it for a week or two.

As for fishing from the front and back, I actually prefer fishing from the back of the boat much of the time. I can watch what the guy in the front is doing, and either make sure I fish a different line or hit the spots he misses, or fish the same line or spot if it really looks good, but with a different set of flies. I also like the angles I get from the back of the boat when streamer fishing. In that kind of fishing, casting slightly downstream often pays off, and fishing a streamer from a moving boat while casting ahead of me from the front often doesn't work well at all.

The other stuff is spot on, though. Mending is your friend when drift fishing!
 

k_e_v

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I solve the over the boat cast thing by being ambidextrous with my casting...I've fished enough from drift boats (and rafts) that I've trained myself to cast with my left hand almost as well as I can with my right. Solves a LOT of problems. I'd say most people can do it if they resolve to practice it for a week or two.

As for fishing from the front and back, I actually prefer fishing from the back of the boat much of the time. I can watch what the guy in the front is doing, and either make sure I fish a different line or hit the spots he misses, or fish the same line or spot if it really looks good, but with a different set of flies. I also like the angles I get from the back of the boat when streamer fishing. In that kind of fishing, casting slightly downstream often pays off, and fishing a streamer from a moving boat while casting ahead of me from the front often doesn't work well at all.

The other stuff is spot on, though. Mending is your friend when drift fishing!

I can do pretty well Lefty casting and hit the spots i need to but I just can't seem to get the line handling/stripping line part of the equation. For me that's the hard part:eek:

kev
 

Bigfly

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Guides seem to say that a lot. I think you are supposed to start mending while you are still in your back cast. :)
That is correct!!!!!.....if you don't consider the mend before the cast, you will have to mend later. Most fishers (in or out of a boat) do it poorly with their elbow down with a flick of the stick. That moves your fly......bad, bad, bad, bad........Who taught that?
THE WORST thing I have to watch as a guide, is the "Auto mend", no clue why you mend, just do it. I often have a guest who can't NOT mend.....I'd say "Great cast, do that again without a mend".....they cast again and mend....just pure muscle memory, no actual thought. I can't help you as a fisher, if you aren't aware of what you are doing. (Even after it being pointed out.)
Get your elbow above your ear when you mend, lift as much line off the water as possible, only if you need to, and only after you know where and why to mend. It's not ALWAYS upstream...
The mend isn't an afterthought, it's far more important than the cast.
Who cares if you can cast, if you get no drift....? Smart fish know a bad drift when they see it. (Smart ones (big) are my target, not the dumb ones.....)
Learn a reach cast for best results. Once my peeps learn it, we can go catch fish. Calculated pre-mends take you to the next level. IF you care to go there......
I think people like boat fishing partly because they never figured out a mend, and hope the guide can do it for them......

As far as casting over the guide.......where I came from, it cost you a sixer every time you do it. I was up to a case before I broke the habit.

Jim
 
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