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Short Line High Sticking

Hello to all, I first need to introduce myself, I am Paul Martinez a Guide and one of the main fly fishing Instructors for Anglers Covey.  I just got off the water in 11 Mile Canyon (South Platte River), or I should say I was blown off the water by the wind.   April is my favorite time of the year to fish all through the West.  Mother earth is coming out of her winter doldrums, grasses and trees are greening up, bugs in our rivers are starting to move, trout are starting to feed aggressively,  and in Colorado the winds are blowing!   We do have some options for wind when we are nymphing.  This time of the year I normally use a short line high sticking method of nymph fishing, basically fishing without an indicator.  I do this because the water is traditionally low, skies are blue and bright, and an indicator can spook fish in theses conditions.  In fact, I witnessed a gentleman today fishing with an indicator before the winds blew, and every time his indicator floated by the fish they moved out of their feeding lanes to avoid his set-up.  Fishing without an indicator (high sticking) is a great tool to have in your tool-kit of fishing know-how for calm to breezy conditions but not the answer in high winds.  As soon as the big winds came in, I went to an indicator and changed my casting from an upriver cast to an across and slightly down river cast.  As soon as my indicator hits the water I throw a big upstream mend then drop my rod tip close to the water keeping the rod and line out of the wind.   By making this cast and mend I am presenting the flies first, or presenting the flies a few feet to the side of the indicator, thus not spooking trout as easily.  Trust me, it does help that the wind is whipping the water into small waves, making indicators harder to detect for trout.  Throwing the big mend and lowering the rod tip is very important; as we all know the wind takes your rod tip and line where it wants to.  The photo is proof of the success that you can have in big wind. The last option is one of my favorite tricks.  In big wind I chop off my flies, reel up my line, load up my truck and go have a nice lunch with a beer out of the wind and call it a day.  By the way, the Rainbows and Cutthroats were eating a grey Ray Charles  (sow bug) size 16-18, and a red annelid (rock worm) size 12-14.


One last item,  the Anglers Covey offers a nymphing class that covers the Short Line High Sticking method. This method is taught in the Discover Streamside Class and covered more in the In-depth Nymph Class.  I do teach both classes and would love to see you in class this summer.


  Paul Martinez

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