Trout in austere, backcountry creeks are oppotunists. The very thing that makes these streams so appealing to anglers—cold, cystal clear waters, amazing viewscapes, a wild, largely untouched setting—is what makes life so tough on small-stream trout. Food is scarce, and just about anything that looks like food will get a look from backcountry trout.
In video above, I talk about structure, much like I did in the last Trout Tips filmed on the same stretch of water high in the central Colorado mountains. Often, in small waters, just simply getting the attention of fish is the biggest challenge. When I fish small water, I like to find structure and then fish that structure from a number of different perpsectives. Here, I talk about skating and swinging dry flies in order to get skittish trout to perk up and hopefully take a swipe at a fly.
Remember, when you’re on a backcountry stream, you’re not a on a manicured, managed stretch of trout water or an English chalk stream. Your backcast will be challenged by willows and alders and multiple conflicting currents will make for challenging fishing. There’s no need for the “upstream and dry” mantra when you’re after fish that might be lying in spots that simply can’t be reached with “traditional” angling techniques. Hence the skate and the swing.
Good luck out there…
— Chris Hunt