Photograph by Steve Barnett

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Who goes there?  Friend or Foe?

Well, to the trout, there is no doubt you are foe. So don't let the little fellows on sentry duty raise the alarm when you crawl into position to cast to the nice BIG fellow you have been watching from downstream.

The photograph below (click on it for a bigger picture) shows you the situation, but it is difficult to see the little trout on sentry duty in the glide to the left of the foreground.

Sentry above here ^
It is so very easy to fix your gaze on the big fish rising upstream that, as you make sure it doesn't see you, you can miss the presence of the little trout right under your nose. This leads to it dashing off in fear and if it heads upstream it will frighten the others in front of it and they in turn will charge upstream and frighten more and so on until your big fish is made aware that something is wrong and... Lo and Behold! The rises stop and it's as though there is not a fish in the river.  This is why you need to creep about, why you need polarised spectacles and why you need to be on the lookout for the little fish, even though you are trying for the big'uns.

Your strategy in a pool like this is to catch the sentry first. Return him gently, but downstream of you and aimed towards a weedbed.  So, instead of tearing off upriver, he makes for cover under the weeds. Then you can make that cast to the big fellow...

Of course they are not really on sentry duty. They just want the trout in front to not be there so they can move into the better place. Eventually, if all goes well for the sentry, it moves up through all the better places until, one day, he or she is the boss fish in the boss place - with sentries of his or her own to warn of danger.

Regular Rod

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