Trout Fishing photo

A few years ago, I took an informal poll of my fly-fishing guide friends. I asked them: “What’s the number one beef you have with your clients? What is the one thing that they do that drives you nuts?”

As you might suspect, I got a smattering of answers, from “thinking that wiggling the tip of a rod will somehow untangle a messed line,” to “one person tried to put their boots on, and then pull their waders over the top of them, which ripped my waders.”

But the overwhelming leader among most of the guides was, “Standing right in the middle of the run.”

You take Bob to the river, and show him where the fish are, and where to cast. Turn your attention upstream to Jim for a few minutes, and when you walk back, Bob is standing smack-dab in the middle of the run where the fish are.

Or rather, where the fish were.

All of which raises an important point. I believe that your odds of hooking trout decrease in proportion to the water line on your waders. The wetter you are, the less likely you are to catch fish. I’ve been scuba diving with trout many times, and trust me, they feel your presence when you push a wake their way.

Remember that most trout can usually be found within three feet of the bank. Often times, your best casting position is from somewhere where your boots are dry.

Of course, there are situations where you need to wade around an obstruction, or put the wind and the sun in the right position to help you cast and catch fish. But stay the heck out of the middle of a run. At least when you’re around a fishing guide.