Written by: Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow, Epic Waters Angling
Epic Waters Angling and Orvis have teamed up to create a steelheading miniseries. Using the latest Orvis prototypes, the clips are specifically catered to small-stream tactics. After a busy season of guiding, Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow set out to deliver viewers techniques that are designed to elevate the game of steelhead anglers from the west to the Great Lakes.
There are few things more exciting than discovering new water and the anticipation that goes with stepping in for the first time. But before you go charging in, scan the run and make a game plan. It’s easy to step on a fish, skip a prime lie, or get fixated on a faraway spot when the best water is at your feet.
It’s rare that I fish a run well the first time, and after years of fishing a spot and discovering its secrets, your initial approach will be unrecognizable. That said, if you do a methodical breakdown, you can avoid some simple mistakes.
First visualize the run as a fish would. Where is totally off limits? Where are fish likely to travel into a spot? Is the speed right? Would a fish see my fly there? Then think about your approach. Where can I stand? Obstructions? What are the prime pieces of water? How best to fish those? Going through the scenario in detail from the bank will change the game.
Step in. Proceed with caution. Hold on tight.