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Tony E

30 Aug 2022

Crouching while fly fishing may look sexy, but it really doesn't help when it comes time to strike.

There are plenty of 'classy' photos showing anglers in a 'stealth crouch' while fly fishing. It may look sexy, but it's not really helping their fishing,especially when it comes to the moment to strike when fishing a nymph with an indicator.

There's a misconception that crouching somehow reduces your profile to the fish. Maybe so a little, but the difference, particularly when you are out in the water fishing, is pretty negligible. At the distances we cast to trout the odds are the trout already knows you are there. The critical thing is whether or not the fish is 'concerned' by your presence or not. If the trout is still actively feeding, you can pretty safely assume it has accepted your presence.

It seems that particularly in the early phase of feeding activity, trout are more concerned with getting a full belly as quickly as possible than their personal safety. This changes as the feeding cycle progresses and with the regularity of angling pressure.

When using an indicator, it is important to respond to it's 'indication-of-a-take' as quickly as your reflexes allow. Often, there are only small margins in the time available to complete a successful strike. The problem with crouching occurs at the moment the trout takes your nymph.

It is human nature for the body to want to straighten-up when it comes to the initial action of striking. Inevitably, this delays the efficiency of the strike enough to miss the take. It is something I have witnessed uncountable times when guiding from the privileged position of standing off to the side of an angler, suffcient enough to be able to watch both the 'take' and the angler's reaction.

Do yourself a favour and stand tall when you're fishing, especially when you are out in the water. I promise you, your percentage of nymph-takes to succesful hook-ups will increase dramatically.

Tip: This may not apply when you are casting from a raised bank higher above the fish's position. In this circumstance, it may be too much to expect a trout to 'accept your presence' for very long. You may well need to adapt your strategy and your profile ... and 'take a knee'.

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