Want to break away from the crowds? See what's around the bend of your favorite waters? Float the Henry's Fork or the White River? Regardless of your fishing goals Flycraft can get you there. Our Flycraft boats and the mountain SUP allow unprecedented access to new water that wasn't ever accessible before. Who doesn't want to pursue bigger fish that get less pressure? Get ready for that monster streamer eat or skyrocketing rise with a Flycraft.
Tight lines and fish on.
Letter From Founder
Stealth 2 Man
Featured Pro Lance Egan
Camp Cooking Recipe
Flycraft 3 Man
Steamer Techniques by Lance Egan
Flycraft and the Amazon
The Paperbag Fisherman
Float Trip Packing List
Still Water Stealth by Landon Mayer
We Envisioned A Boat That Didn’t Exist
Now, there's a lot of small inflatables on the market. Some good, some bad. But for the most part, our endless search left us coming up with the same conclusion: They're doing it wrong. Nobody was incorporating all the features needed for the ultimate small water stealth boat. There was a huge hole.
...So we decided to fill it with the Flycraft.
This is truly a revolutionary new concept. The more you think about it, the more you will realize how right this boat will be for you and your needs.
Welcome to your discovery of Flycraft.
- Ben Scribner, Founder
We searched and searched for the answer. Everywhere we turned was a dead end. We’ve been boat guys and gals for a long time, from our first pontoon to our trusty drift boat. We love boats. While the drift boat was an excellent vessel and has taken us all over the west, the desire to explore more remote and untouched waters grew.
Our frequent haunts began to become more and more crowded as people discovered the pleasure of fishing with a boat. For a lot of us, the less people we see, the better. As the quest for larger trout and more remote rivers grew, the idea of what we thought would be the perfect compliment to my drift boat evolved.
Stealth 2 Man - The People's Choice
RATING: Class II
WARRANTY: 3 years
FLOOR: High-pressure, drop-stitched floor
GEAR RACK: Lightweight aluminum gear rack
WEIGHT: 98 LBS (without oars and basket)
CAPACITY: 650 Lbs
The World's Most Versatile Fishing Boat
Ultra Light Weight Aluminum Frame and Bomb Proof Raft
7 piece aluminum frame ontop of a 5 air chamber bomb proof raft with a drop stich floor.
Conquer Any Water
The Stealth isn't just an inflatable drift boat designed for rivers. A small motor allows you to easily maneuver on lakes and even salt water.
Perfect 1 or 2 Man Watercraft
Assembled in as little as 8 minutes the Flycraft will allow you to navigate shallow waters unable to float with other watercraft.
When we created the reverse lean bar we new we were in for a battle. Getting people to try new things can be difficult. This was a radically different concept and one that was designed to give you the best of both worlds. For those of you who have not seen this feature, it’s basically wedging the outside of your feet against the inside tubes and slightly leaning backwards against the front braces under the seat. The result is a locked in athletic stance that gives you the ultimate unobstructed freedom of movement.
This also sends your weight to the center of the boat adding stability to the craft. Another advantage is being able to go from standing to sitting and vice versa quickly. I find myself fishing from the seated position the most. My casts are more accurate and I’ve found that you can get much closer to fish before they spook. It takes a little getting used to but once you do it’s an awesome way to go. Having full range of your rod and not being limited by a lean bar aslos gives you more room to land the big one.
Reverse Lean Bar Technology
The advantages of not needing a trailer are numerous. Now that's not to say that sometimes a trailer isn’t a better way to go. However when you have the option of ditching the trailer, it opens up a lot of options. For me being able to slide my boat quickly in the back of my truck and pull up anywhere on the river to launch is huge. I don’t need a suitable spot to back a trailer. Anywhere I can get my truck close to water is now a launch.
As I have gotten older the thought of bringing my camper loaded with a mattress down comforter and a toilet has become more of a staple in my adventures.
Being able to car top my boat and still pull a camper can’t be beat. In fact, a camper being pulled by a truck with a Flycraft on top is the ultimate setup. Throw in a shuttle vehicle, such as an e-bike or dirt bike and now you’re at pro status. For others being able to store the boat in a trunk of a car or car top it is the way to go. You don’t need a 4x4 to get to most rivers. The bottom line is ditching the trailer can really open things up for you. Whats your situation?
How will you transport your Flycraft.
Advantages Of Not Using The Trailer
The Size of a Canoe with the Comfort and Stability of a Drift Boat
Floats High In The Water, So You Can Navigate Shallow Waters
Gives You Unprecedented Access To Pristine Fishing Holes
Easy To Transport. Fits In A Trunk Of A Car, Bed of a Truck, or in a RV Compartment
Can Be Launched From Just About Anywhere
No Trailer Needed
Perfect 1-Man or 2-Man Watercraft (with room for a kid)
Can Be Assembled In As Little As 8 Minutes
Reverse-Lean Technology For Stable Casting While Standing
Rock-Hard Bottom For Standing Comfortably
Incredibly Stable In The Water
360 Degree Swivels Seats
Gas Or Electric Motor (Engine Mount Holds Up To 30 LBS)
Weighs 98 lbs
650 lb Capacity
3-Year Factory Warranty
Features at a Glance
2 Seat Quick Releases
Quickly remove your seats on and off with the push of a lever. This eliminates having to deal with nuts and washers.
Connect a small outbound motor to your Flycraft to take it to the next level.
One piece of lightweight anodized aluminumn to help carry gear, coolers, and fishing gear for your trip.
Flycraft Shallow Water Oar
Lightweight and strong. The spooned blade allows for great purchase in shallow water. Sold Individually and as pair.
You have the option of a 30" fixed handle or a 37-51" extendable handle with a u joint.
Quickly switch rods whenever you need with our rod holder. Hold up to two rods.
20 Pound Anchor
Keep yourself in one spot, on a river or lake, with this steel encased anchor.
Go Pro Tower With Ball Mount
The raised view gives a great alternative view to the tradition head cam or pole mount. The ball mount at the end gives you 360 degree rotation. Get heli-like shots with this tower!
Breaking your boat down often? Save some time, and your back, with this electric pump.
Pump out any water that may have accumulated in your boat from the last rapid or rain. An absolute must have!
Aluminum Gear Box
This aluminum box with a lid is a great catch all for tools, fly boxes, gink, snacks, or whatever you want to keep close by.
Right Handed? Left Handed? Who cares. This cup holder will go anywhere you want it go and allow you to be hands free.
3rd Seat Kit
This kit allows you convert our gear rack into a 3rd seat for a child (100lbs of less).
Honda 2.3 HP Gas Motor
Get to your favorite fishing spot with this incredible little motor. Internal gas, 4 stroke, and air cooled.
Cam strap options come in 15' (pack of 2) and 46" (pack of 4). Great for tying down gear.
Never use another tool to break down your boat. These thumbscrews effortlessly allow break down and set up.
The 2 man Stealth is the size of a canoe with the comfort and stability of a drift boat. You can set up the Stealth in as little as 8 minutes and launch it from about anywhere. From the trunk of a car to the bed of a truck the stealth is the most portable drift boat on the market today.
Access Pristine Fishing Holes
The World's Most Versatile Drift Boat
READ THIS ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG
When Ben Scribner, founder of Flycraft, first asked me to join him on a float in a prototype boat he’d been developing, I figured we’d fish the Green River, or some other typical large, western river where floating is part of everyday angling. Instead, I arrived to find we’d be floating a river that I had previously wade fished many times. My initial thought was: That river is way too small to float. I was wrong, very wrong!
Next, I was introduced to the first prototype, the Stealth. Again, my initial reaction was hesitation. That boat is too small. We’ll flip over for sure! Admittedly, I tend to err on the side of caution, and was definitely uncomfortable for the first few minutes of being in the small, light craft. Ben was adamant that I fish, while he manned the oars. As he confidently maneuvered the boat, I quickly gained confidence in the boats stability, and safety.
After a few bends in the river I was feeling much more comfortable, and could then focus my attention to the fishing. Which was red hot! Though I had fished large rivers out of drift boats and larger rafts, my first Flycraft float caused my fishing to evolve.
I’ll always love the wading approach to a river, but floating opens up so many techniques, water types, and presentations that a wading angler can not replicate.
I now long for Flycraft floats, and many of my best days each year are spent in the sneaky, responsive, easy to row, Flycraft. Rivers I once thought were too small to float are now well within reason, and are often not only reasonable to float, but are my preferred waters since they lack the crowds of larger rivers. The stability, portability, maneuverability, and fishability of the Flycraft has completely changed the way I fish.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Lance has earned an astonishing fly fishing reputation over the years. He's a three-time National Fly Fishing Champion, three-time World Fly Fishing Champion Medalist, a USA Fly Fishing team member since 2003, and Umpqua Feather Merchants Signature Fly Designer.
He currently manages Fly Fish Food in Orem, Utah.
Featured Pro - Lance Egan
There are a lot of variables going on here. Rock thickness, size of oven, amount of coals.
I’d recommend leaving them undisturbed for 40 minutes.
Pro tip, set the frosting close enough to the fire to have it warm, this will let you evenly drizzle the frosting on to the rolls. To check, cut a small hole in the top of the foil. Assess if it needs more time. When they look good melt the frosting on to the rolls. Serve warm. Enjoy the best campfire desert man has ever seen.
Do you enjoy campfires? Perhaps with a beer or 10? Does food taste better around a campfire? Do you enjoy blowing people's minds? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you might find my simple little recipe of interest. In fact, I guarantee you will love this if you put in a small effort to make it happen.
What you will need: Rhodes cinnamon rolls, pie tin, tin foil, olive oil, and a flat rock.
Build a small oven out of rocks in your fire pit. Ideally just big enough to fit your pie tin with a few inches to spare on each side. Get your coals going. You'll want a good 3 inch layer of solid coals.
Lubricate your pie tin with a thin layer of olive oil.
Place your cinnamon rolls int the pie tin.
Wrap the pie tin with 2 generous layers of tin foil, I love the extra wide tin foil for best coverage.
Place a the pie tin on your flat rock. Then wrap the rock in place with 2 more layers of tin foil.
Place package on coals.
Cover the oven with another large sheet of foil, tuck the edges in to trap as much heat as possible.
Campfire Cinnamon Rolls
Inspired by our 2-person Flycraft Stealth, this new 3 Man Inflatable Boat is wider and longer to comfortably accommodate a 3rd person. With a new frame design and secure leg locks for each angler, this is the perfect boat for the avid fisherman or guide.
This boat was designed to have all the comforts and advantages of a drift boat, but with superior access to smaller water and rocky streams. Transportation with this boat couldn’t be easier with the ability to put on the roof of a vehicle or back of a truck, or just deflate the raft and break down the frame.
Our Newest Addition - The Flycraft 3 Man
Flycraft 3 Man - The Guides Choice
Extra stabililty and confidence while standing and casting.
NRS Atomic Aluminum Oarlocks
Carry all the gear you need for a guided float or that multiday excursion with your buddies.
Extended NRS oarlocks to give you all the room you need to row comfortably in any circumstance.
Two Sawyer Smoker Bandit 9' Oars
4.5 lb oars with carbon reinforced solid Ashwood shaft material with a 1-5/8″ diameter.
Two Cataract SGG 9' Oars
7 lb oars with Fiberglass and carbon fiber shaft material with a 1-7/8″ (2-1/4″ with rope wrap) diameter.
3 Man Accessories
25 Pound Anchor
Found the honey hole? The 25lb anchor will keep you in place whether you're in a river or a lake.
3 Man Gear Rack
Weighing under 10lbs you can bring everything you might need for your next adventure.
3 Man Rod Holder
The 3 man rod holder accomodates 9' rods allowing you keep your quiver of rods ready to go for any situation.
Fishing streamers is one of my favorite ways to utilize the Flycraft. With a good oarsmen slowing the boat, one can really cover water and search for aggressive fish. In today’s fly fishing culture, large, articulated streamers are all the rage. While slinging oversized flies can be effective and fun, I find more success with small, well placed streamers. Instead of the typical large, wear your arm out, casts like a wet sock, infinity articulated streamer that everyone seems to fancy throwing at Trout these days (man I sound old), I consistently catch more fish with small, weighted streamers that are just large enough to get attention, but small enough that the fish don’t just escort the oversized invader out of their area. Smallish streamers in the #6-10 range are dangerously effective. While techniques vary, and are likely broad enough to warrant a few chapters in a book, (check out George Daniel’s book,
Strip Set) the nuts and bolts are as follows:
Streamer Techniques By Lance Egan
Fish streamers that are large enough to get noticed, but not so large that fish hesitate to eat them.
Cover water, and use the sneakiness of the Flycraft. Get into narrow side channels, float rivers bordering on too small to float and join a skilled oarsmen that will put your boat in a position to succeed.
Vary retrieve speeds and angles of retrieve. Some days they like it fast, sometimes slow. Some days the streamer is best swimming downstream. Sometimes the fish prefer the fly traveling across stream, or maybe even upstream.
Change fly colors until you’re convinced the fish prefer a particular color. I often fish 2 streamers at a time, of differing colors, and change them out until I find a combination causing the fish to eat both colors.
Cast tight to the bank and get in contact immediately. It’s amazing how often Trout eat the streamer before most anglers are in a position to set the hook. And when I say cast tight, I mean it. If there’s enough water to cover the back of a Trout, you’ve cast almost close enough.
PHOTO: JOHN BRANDON
If you’re looking for a destination fishing adventure, landing an arapaima in the Amazon is a total next level experience. Arapaima are the largest freshwater, air-breathing fish in the world, getting up to 600 pounds and over 12 feet long. In this feature, Flycraft CEO Ben Scribner, and Sales Manager Brandon Collett travel to the country of Guyana in South America in search of some freshwater jungle fish.
Amazon fishing should be on every serious fisherman’s bucket list. The jungle is a radically different world. The remoteness is out of control. Monkeys running through the trees, jungle noises, wildlife, birds, the stars. Everyday you’ll be blown away by what’s going on.
And the guides with King William Adventures make you feel incredibly safe. The guys down there are simply incrdible. Even just being able to eat involves hunting and foraging like we’ve never seen. They killed, dressed, and cooked a wild pig for us one night.
Our mission for braving the wilds of the Amazon this last December? It was two part:
To catch a legendary arapaima. This monster is so big you have to get into the water and wrestle it once you hook it and fight to wear it out.
To prove the Flycraft Stealth Boat is indeed “jungle-proof”.
Flycraft Takes on The Amazon
First off, jungle life is clearly a radically different lifestyle. Even the way you eat and sleep while out there is unusual. It’s actually a thrill to be in such an alluringly and unique environment that’s guaranteed to shake you out of your day-to-day grind. But it’s the exotic fishing that’s the most memorable and worth the trek down to the equator.
During the days we were catching peacock bass as our bread and butter. Peacock are actually the best fish I’ve ever had. It was a blast to exact our revenge on the piranha for shredding our flies all day, by cooking them up for dinner. But landing a giant arapaima was the destination objective.
The arapaima typically live in lagoons off the river, so carrying your boat from the Amazon river through the jungle, to an arapaima’s lagoon, proves to be a tough task. The guides loved the Stealth because, weighing in at 98 pounds, you can easily carry the inflatable raft.
The Stealth was officially coined “jungle-proof” with the durability for the jungle, yet still comfortable casting amongst crocodiles and piranha.
Floating out among the arapaima was wild. It’s like a grenade going off under you. When you feel one of those creatures on your line, it’s mind boggling thinking about landing it. Sadly, despite our best efforts and catching countless exotic fish, we have a little bit of unfinished business with the arapaima. So we’re definitely going back for round two with this underwater beast.
The Ultimate SUP
PHOTO: JESS DELORENZO
LENGTH: 10' 2"
WEIGHT: 25 lbs
MAX CAPACITY: 275 lbs
The Ulra-Light, Ultra-Stable Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) designed to get you into those perfect fishing spots on your favorite rivers, streams, creeks and lakes. Add in our revolutionary new accessories to expand your fishing opportunities.
How The Flycraft SUP Helps You Catch More Fish:
The Innovative Gravity Fins pop up when it hits rocks, grass, mud or any obstacle, giving you extreme shallow water capabilities, while still maintaining control of your board. The Gravity Fin also hosts the key pulley, enabling the anchor system to operate.
The SUP's Anchor System eliminates the biggest pain in paddle board fishing, wind or water drift. Now you can concentrate on your fishing without being swept away by wind or current.
The Tower gives you the ability to quickly switch from rod to paddle, or vice versa. The anchor system is seamlessly controlled from the Tower, which is also a great place to mount additional accessories.
Our super stable, extra rigid, dropped stitched Flycraft Aircore PVC gives you a solid platform that's strong yet lightweight. Get the rigidity you need to fish streams, lakes, and rivers...plus the platform is perfect for yoga!
Track straighter, easier with an upgraded future's fin with more surface area than most SUP's generic black fin.
Get only the highest end components,including an upgraded Leifield C7 valve that's more durable than cheaper valves used in most SUPs.
Comfort and stability: A full size pad gives you plenty of room for landing a monster (or tricking your partner into buying a "yoga board").
Less line snags with our IDT (Inlaid D-Ring technology). With a raised mat around the d-rings, you'll be tangle-free.Attach all your essentials for a multi-day or afternoon adventure with 23 d-rings in strategic areas.
The Case for SUP Fishing
We’ve all seen people paddling around the local swimming hole on a Stand Up Paddleboard, but what many people don’t realize is how great fishing from a SUP can be. To be honest, we were skeptics at first. The thought of balancing on a SUP, casting flies and taking the needed gear seamed like a stretch. We quickly learned how wrong we were!
Fishing off, a SUP can be a little more challenging than a boat but that is part of the fun! The boards are actually far more stable than one would think, but the balance aspect gives you a great core workout and adds a lot of fun to your time on the water. Whether hooking into massive tarpon in Florida or navigating western streams while throwing hoppers, fishing off a SUP has proved to be a very helpful and effective method.
One of the things we really like about a SUP fishing is the minimalism. At just 28 lbs, we can take this boat anywhere. Strapping it to the roof of your car or deflating it and putting it in the trunk allows it to be taken with us anywhere. Local ponds or high mountain lakes are a great place to use it because they typically don’t have easy access for a boat. Being able to paddle away from the shore gives us a huge fishing advantage.
While fishing, you will get a great workout by paddling and standing on the SUP. What’s more is that it is far more than just a fishing vessel. Kids, spouses, and friends will all love being on a SUP whether they are fishing or not. It’s a great thing to bring along for that day at the beach or a river trip.
Many people just think of SUPs for lakes and the ocean but for the last few years we’ve been running every western small stream or big river we can find. The retractable gravity fin setup on the Flycraft SUP makes this a very fun board in rivers and even rapids. These fins allow you to keep control of the board in current without risk of catching and breaking them on rocks.
The Flycraft SUP is an inflatable board which is completely rigid once inflated. This makes it more durable than most, significantly lighter, and very packable. This SUP is always packed with our camping gear in case we come upon some water on an adventure. Another advantage to the Flycraft SUP is the paddle and rod holder. Traditionally going between paddling and fishing has been difficult on a SUP, but we have solved this problem! Our unique anchor system allows you to hold your position while casting.
If you haven’t tried paddling or fishing off a SUP we’d highly recommend it.
Super Stable Platform
An extra rigid dopped stitched Aircore PVC provides the perfect platform for fishing, family fun, or yoga.
Innovative Gear Tower
Seemlessly switch from rod to paddle and store and other accessories you may want, like a net!
Paper Bag Fisherman caught our attention with his HUGE bull trout, unique style of photos ... and well, his quirky headwear choices.
We had a chance to go up and fish with him in Canada and he's one cool guy. We had tons of fun!
He's an artist, and maybe sometime we'll tell you about his paper bag story. But this guy is super fishy. And he's now one of our good friends.
Check out his art and fishing adventures! You can follow him on Instagram here:
The Paperbag Fisherman
Snacks: Usually your going to be packing a lunch or bringing some food, but on those times when you don't and and your short mission starts to run long, that extra beef jerky or bag of nut is going to be a real treat. I have found that a couple of extra granola bars can stow away pretty easily and stay fresh for several months, and edible for much longer.
First aid kit: I have multiple first aid kits in a variety of sizes. Always having these with you is a no brainer. If you're buying a kit off the shelf you may want to supplement it. Some of my first aid all stars: burn creme, hypodermic needle, tweezers, and flexible bandage wrap.
Cremes: That's right, cremes. In particular having small container of sunscreen and insect repellent can save the day when you get to the launch and realize you forgot them. Keep these double bagged and away from your tackle. Spending a lot of time on the water can lead to extreme sun exposure and your lips can easily get fried. I avoid putting things on my lips because it seams to dry them out even more. The best stuff I've found when I have to do it is Hempz lips. This stuff is the best and won't dry out your beautiful lips. I wouldn't recommend putting this on your body, but a tiny jar of grease that comes with your flycraft can also be used to lube your oar locks, nothing worse that a squeaky oar.
Repair kit: Sand paper, lighter, Aquaseal (awesome for pin holes, dap some on and suck the air out and the boat), extra oar stop, and some extra super glue.
Random: Extra shades. I'm blind without sunglasses and losing a pair or having some fail would make for a miserable day. I usually pack around an extra pair of low light shades.
Gps: I use the GAIA app. This is super helpful on new floats. You can download any area and at 20 bucks it is well worth the cost.
Binoculars: I’ve gotten into birds lately and while on the river your going to see a lot. Get a better view with some compact binos.
Saw & machete: If I'm exploring rivers that are not typically floated I like to be prepared with some cutting tools.
Having a well equipped boat bag is a key part of any floating adventure. Here are some suggestions of what I like and have found that works. Your items may vary depending on your location or adventure.
Fire kit: a lighter is not enough, you want to have redundant ways to light a fire. Being able to quickly start a fire in any condition is a key skill to have in the outdoors. Being prepared can make this job a piece of cake. Having some sources of fire starter is critical. Tip: get a fire log and cut some smaller sections off of it and pack in a fly puck. This will allow to get a fire started wet or more quickly if it's dry..Now you have 20 minutes of fuel. Enough to get super wet wood dried out and burning.
Lighting: If you don’t own a headlamp you need to get one. I love the Petzl Ziptka, it's small, alway fits, and is great for most tasks. In addition to a headlamp, you need a spot light. Getting caught on a river in the dark without a way to light up your path can get dangerous quickly. The Olight warrior is a compact beast for its size and makes carrying some serious power no big deal.
Blades: I’m a knife guy and usually have multiple blades with me. I’d recommend having a pocket knife on you at all times, a small fixed blade in your boat bag, and of course a multi tool. Last but not least, a river rescue knife attached to your boat or life jacket is a pro move.
Extra clothes: You never know when the weather is going to mix it up on you. There are a couple items I always bring: a beanie and an extra buff is pound for pound the best bang for the buck when you need to warm up; a rain jacket even on the hottest bluebird days; an extra layer in winter usually synthetic; extra work gloves can also be a bacon saver.
Water purifier: Usually your going to bring your water with you. But if you forget or run out, your trip can turn grim. I remember a time when I was deep into a creek without any water. The temperature soared and on the multiple mile hike out I was dying of thirst meanwhile the crystal clear water was running in my face. If only I had a water filter. I recommend the sawyer mini for its compact size.
Spare oar: This is like having a spare tire. Need I say more?
Walkie talkies: These can be awesome if your floating with multiple boats.
Float Trip Essentials
READ THIS ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG
Still waters can provide opportunities to catch some of the largest trout in the world. One of the challenges many anglers face is how intimidating such a large body of water can be. What I’ve learned over the years is that a majority of large trout find a bulk of their diet near drop lines, vegetation, or rocky shorelines. This is why my Flycraft has become a very important tool in day to day trips giving me the ability to creep in without being detected in shallow zones. The following tips have been very useful angling from my Flycraft or the areas I can now access by foot due to its versatility.
Intercepting the Banks
Like a pool player visualizing the Q ball shot, intercepting cruising fish is a must learn skill all anglers should experience. Having the right "angles" is the best way to intercept the target. I first learned this technique in 2003 on a 7 day trip tarpon fishing in Homasassa and Boca Grande, Florida. Watching large migratory tarpon cruise on turtle grass flats, beaches, and harbors you had seconds to line up the shot, load with one or a few false casts, and pull the trigger. Delivering the fly far ahead of silver kings in order line up the fishes feeding line. While it was frustrating at the beginning, by the end of the week I was hooked. Not to mention the mind racing ideas on the flight back on how I could apply these techniques back home for quality trout. This same intercepting set up from my Flycraft now brings the exciting sight fishing game from my days in the salt to my still waters back home.
First you need to see the path of the trout, what direction it is moving, and if there is a pattern to how it feeds. It is common for these fish to stick to the same routine swimming the same route over and over. Then determine if the fish is looking for food on the surface, below, or both. If it is only on the surface then it is simple, if the fish is a subsurface feeder then you want to visualize the depth you think the trout is feeding at. It does not have to be spot on at first, you are better off thinking short as the natural movement for a trout to feed is to lift.
Once you have located the highway and speed of the fish it is time to visualize your plan by making an imaginary dotted line in front of the trout to a spot where you think the fish will eventually be. I prefer 10 feet or so. This will give you time to manage line with just a dry, and allowing sinking time for a dropper. It is difficult to land the fly directly in front of the cruising target, especially at longer casting ranges. To ensure the imitation will be seen I prefer to overshoot. This will give me breathing room to move the fly into position to intercept the trout and its viewing lane. In some situations the extra distance will not make a difference with fish heavy on the feed.
After you land the fly the next decision is how to move the bug into position. There are so many ways this could be done from skating, twitching, or popping. I for one am a fan of skating the dry to mimic the moments of a natural caddis as it is less startling. This technique can be accomplished very easily by simply applying a large mend to the fly line. Matched with a size #14-16 Fat Albert, you are know ready for action. Lastly, the most important part about moving a fly is not always the act; it is the pause in between. This lets the trout know the food source is not going to escape or that it is injured.
Still Water Stealth by Landon Mayer
Movement is the first thing you will see from a trout in still water because unlike rivers these trout are in constant motion when they feed. Shadows, silhouettes, and color are the best give away that a trout is on the hunt. Be sure to look closely at structure points and the light side of a color change, or drop lines. The often dark, or light colored shape of a trout will contrast against the color of the structure and shallow bank bottom.
Another effective strategy is to view these windows from a high perch or vantage point. Even if you are fishing by yourself it will let you know how close to the edge the fish is cruising, how deep the target is, and what direction it is swimming. Then you will know if your rig is in the path of the trout when it swims by to prevent missing chances for the fish to see your flies.
Color for Depth
Drop-offs or shelves are some of the best locations on still waters to find fish. These color changes indicate crucial depths that trout tend to prowl in the spring, summer, and fall. If possible try to find a high ground viewing area to scout the shoreline before you launch your Fly Craft or travel by foot, as it can be harder to see the exact drop when you are standing on the edge or in the water. In the early season when the ice just starts to thaw, or heat up on the edges you may see three color changes going toward shore: white ice, green or blue deep water, then shoreline colors that are typically brown, tan, or red.
All these transitions are logical ambush points for predators like trout because they provide safety and a steady food supply. In the spring as the shallow edge water warms up, the first birth of midges are prolific a few feet from shore. Always look before you wade, especially during the first two weeks after ice out, as trout hug the bank to take advantage of the warm water and food. This is when you will have to remind yourself that this is fresh water sight fishing not the salt.
Once you locate these drop-offs that follow the lake contours, try to find a structural points that intersect these travel lanes. The tip of a point of land, or the mouth of a bay puts you closer to the trout as it forces them to funnel around you. In rocky terrain, these points can sometimes save the day during heavy wind. Use them to find shelter from the wind for easier casting and better sight fishing.
When fish are more exposed in shallow water, any extra cover they can find is attractive. My favorite spots along a known shorelines are usually isolated large rocks, or rocky points. Trout cruise below, around, and through the rocks using shade, the structure itself, and extra surface disturbance to remain undetected. This is where I locate some of the largest trout of my year.
PLAN YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE
Born and Built in Utah
Access The Inaccessible