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island guy

up or downstream

10 posts in this topic

I just started wading a local river for smallies. What's best? Casting downstream or upstream or does it make much difference?

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I usually try to head upstream when I can. Fish are usually fighting the current, and will have their back to you when you head upstream, less chance of being seen.

There is something said of going downstream though. I sometimes like to walk downstream, not fishing, and just looking at the stream and good holding areas, and after going down a ways, turn back and hit all the good looking areas I saw on the way down.

Good luck!

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I have just started doing this as well. I am really liking the St. Croix up by St. Croix state park.

So far I haven't notices a huge difference in production between casting up or down stream. Casting upstream does let you get behind fish fighting the current.

If you fish slack water areas I like to cast down stream since you will be casting behind rocks or logs you can hide behind them to some extent and then reel your bait into that slack water area from behind it.

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Welcome to wading! I'd suggest going upstream. The fish will not see or hear you as often and you wont be kicking up sediment to announce that you're coming. Try to fish one bank on the way up and another on the way down, or topwater on the way up and plastics on your way down. Give us some reports!

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I agree with the upstream, but have some comments. I think it depends alot on what type of lures you are using. I like to go upstream when fly fishing, But I have been fishing the Mississippi alot recently and think downstream has a few advantages. I like to jig down stream, I get less snags and like the action better most of the time. I also fish pretty fast water and it can be hard to get the correct action out of my lures casting upstream.

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I agree, especially with the snag issue. I spend the majority of my time throwing topwater (My only snage are tree brances). The current also gives jigs a litle more dance.

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I think I could become addicted to this wading thing!! Went out this morning with a old pair of tennis shoes a back pack with a bottle of water and a few extra jigs. I parked my car downstream and had a friend drop me off a mile upstream. What a blast!! must of caught close to two dozen smallies some pushing 4 lbs. Mostly topwater. Also fell about a zillon times on slimey rocks and hidden deadfalls. My old body aches from head to toe but it was worth every minute. As soon as I recover, I'm going back out!

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Way to go Island guy. You might want to invest in some waders or at least so felt bottom boots it'll increase you longevity in the wading game! Can I ask if you were fishing in the Ottetail?

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I hate to post a location but the Ottertail it was. The stretches I fish are too low for even a canoe so I don't think I'll get crowded out. Wading is about the only way to fish most stretches this year. There are areas a canoe would be possible but they don't hold as many fish.

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Ron Schara did a show from the ottertail. I also read about it in a few books. Looks like a great river and a great time of year. The nice thing about smaller rivers is most folks wont go through the extra effort to fish them. I generally keep locations fairly mum but I'll talk about which rivers I fish I do occassionally trade trips with folks. Enjoy!

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