Eight vehicles at trout stream bridge access. If you can’t get away from the crowd you can still have a successful day on the stream.
When I first started fishing the stream in the photo there was no parking area. What is now gravel used to be grass. If you came on a weekend you may run into someone else. Chances are you would move on to the next access so they could have the stretch to themselves. Things have changed. Eight vehicles, including mine, at the access on a recent weekday outing. There’s a good chance that there are also plenty of people at the other access points so you do your best with what you have.
The first thing is to lower your expectations, somewhat. It’s pretty obvious that the fish are not going to be dumb and jump all over whatever you happen to throw to them. Fish will have been caught and many will have been spooked, several times. They also get conditioned to the fishing pressure and become harder to catch overtime. It is pretty predictable how, where, and what we will fish with. The fish have seen just about everything and have us figured out; it should be the other way around.
Even with the odds stacked against you there are options. One thing you can do is perfect your casting and presentation. If you can put a fly right where it needs to be on the first cast, your chances will be better. If you make that delicate presentation most every time it is called for, you’ll have a better chance. Put that nymph in an exact spot instead of just running it through the zone.
There are other things you can do. Fish areas that most people overlook. Most people overlook them or pass them by, because they have not had success there in the past or the areas are not so easy to fish. Even though these areas may be hard to fish your chances may actually be better than the spots that have been pounded over and over.
Fish also become conditioned to the flies we use. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are flies we all use that work well a good part of the time, but if you find yourself having trouble, put on something that no one else has tried. If the fish just don’t seem to commit to a take or the hole seems to have gone cold, try a pattern switch. This will often trigger another strike or several.
If you decide to join the crowd, chances are you’ll run into a number of people. Don’t lose your head, give them space and be courteous. We are all there for the same experience. Talk to people and you’ll most likely learn something. Odds are real good that you will fish the same water that others have already fished, just be more thoughtful about how you do it and you will have success.