Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Swinging for Trout

Winter conjures contemplation. I’ve been reflecting on how my small stream fishing style has evolved. A couple years ago most of my casts involved tossing the fly upstream and drifting or slow strip retrieving. The last couple years I’ve been tossing downstream and swinging/stripping against the current. While I still deploy the upstream cast, the ratio flipped. Why? Because the tug on a tight line swing is awesome. I think Nate would agree that fishing one Spring with Tim Pearson on some small WI streams helped influence our deployment of the downstream cast. I once saw Tim cast upstream but it turned out he was just releasing a downstream snag. 

Here are a couple nice Fall fish caught swinging on Driftless streams. Also featuring stream side lunch of soup, burgers, beer (whiskey gone by then). 

scar face
ended the season with a fat 20". my biggest trout of the year.
shelter from the strong wind


  1. John
    This is an excellent way to attract super size trout, which are reluctant to take an offering with nymphing or the dry fly technique. Some of my best trout have been taken with the swing cast. I have found for me the hit occurs as the fly actually flows slowly downstream while I work it back across the current. Thanks for sharing a great technique

  2. Are you employing this only for streamers or everything?

  3. Great fish. Big browns are majestic.

  4. A recent small-stream discovery for me also. the tug is good, and sometimes they won't take it any other way!