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jero 04-10-2007 02:11 PM

floating or sinking objects spooking trout
a fellow fisherman told me the other day that that trout can get spooked by anything floating over them in the surface (example a floating line or a piece of wood), but they won´t mind any objects passing by them under the water (a sinking line or the same piece of wood). Does anybody know if this is true? It makes me curious.

Adrian 04-10-2007 02:31 PM

That sounds like a piece of folklore not based on real experience. Trout have to deal with things floating over their heads day in and day out. Think of conditions in the fall with all those leaves floating by, or windy days when all manner of junk is being blown across the surface. Those conditions can produce some of the best fishing of the year.

Anything that seems unnatural or out of place is likely to spook a trout- or any other fish for that matter. A streamer appearing in front of their vision very suddenly (unnaturally) is just as likely to spook them as a shadow cast by a flyline floating overhead.

On heavilly fished bodies of water fish can become very "educated". Anything less than a perfect presentation is probably going to be treated with disdain whether floating or sub-surface.

PEC54 04-12-2007 09:45 PM

Maybe true.
I've heard of this before, it maybe a inherited instinct from predators from above such as birds ,or when shadows suddenly appear over them.I read some where juvi steelhead show this type of reaction.

juro 04-13-2007 04:48 AM


Trout (/steelhead) that have been conditioned to react to the approach of a line will react to it. I've seen steelhead stacked in a pool that were completely aware of even the most naturally drifting line once ten people thrashed the pool with sloppy casts.

However I've also seen fish in other pools sometimes on the same river that smashed the fly even before a very sloppy mend was completed, meaning the fly was jerked forward and the line making a large crescent shaped tear on the surface.

If fish are holding and many people have been teaching them to beware of that fat string, they will heed that sign. If they have just barrelled in with a fresh tide from a 1500 mile journey to the Aleutian Islands, they might rip into that fly no matter how badly the line looks.

For spooky fish a long leader and floating line is less intrusive than a sinking line unless that sinking line can be presented almost straight down at the fish, in other words without crossing (lining) them in which case deeper or faster currents or fish holding tight to the soft water on the bottom can be better dealt with using a sinking line.

Adapt and conquer, the fish do!

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