Fishing | Trout Tips

Trout Tips: Barefoot on the boat

This may go beyond actual trout fishing, but it’s a good lesson, and one that can be frustrating to learn.

The simple truth is that fly line piled at your feet actually seems to look for something on which to get caught, and it usually finds it just as you’re making that money cast to a cruising bonefish or a rising trout, should you be on a drift boat. Everything else is perfect, and the cast you’re sending toward the fish is on its way. And then it stops and drops 10 feet short because it got caught on the lace knot of your wading boots, or under the sole of your deck shoes.

Ugh. It’s happened so often to me, that, if it’s at all possible, I go barefoot on the boat.

That’s a tough proposition on a drift boat—I get that. Especially early or late in the season when “trout weather” and “football weather” are often identical. It’s easier on tropical flat, of course.

It’s not to say that the fly line won’t get caught around your big toe or under your heel, but by removing your shoes, sandals, boots or flip-flops, you’re reducing the fly line’s seemingly magnetic ability to get caught up on the littlest of obstacles. Next time the weather is just right, give the barefoot approach a shot.

— Chris Hunt