“Catching remains somewhat hit and miss with two rods fishing exactly the same tactics, on the same day, from the same boat, producing totally different outcomes ……… but hasn’t that nearly always been the case?”
Above is a quote from the last Coldingham Loch Report by Carmel and Gareth and this got me thinking?
“exactly the same tactics”
Of course most people will be aware that when one end of the boat is catching that angler tends to relax and the guy at the other end probably tenses up and this may well be the major difference.
The bigger the gap in fish caught the more this will come into effect even with old pals.
Now someone once asked me when Loch Style (Boat) competitions started and my reply was it would be the first time two people were in a boat together!
Even the best of friends do not want to be beaten by a country mile and we all go fishing to catch fish.
So how “exactly the same” can you be?
Now on the Loch on most occasions the angler not catching will ask what fly his partner caught on or he will usually be shown the fly and more often than not given one.
The offer should never be refused.
Why? Well it takes one thing out of the equation and lets you concentrate on what else may be making the difference.
Of course there could be a myriad of things that are making the difference.
One well known North East Angler once said to me “You need to get a 100 things right to catch a trout and some days if you only get 99 right you won’t catch”
Now the major differences between ends of the boat will be the Location, Line and the Retrieve.
If you are out in open water the end of the boat should not make a difference but if one end is nearer the shore or an aerator or any other structure this could be the difference.
After all the first thing that needs to happen to catch a fish is the trout needs to see your fly. They are after all predators that rely mainly on their eyesight. So it could be that the fish are just on one side of the boat and that can be especially true if the angler is catching is casting at an angle to the boat or the drift.
Now I believe it is very bad manners to cast in to your partners side of the boat without being specifically invited to do this. I have fished with anglers who do this often and it is bad form.
Some think it is OK if you are changing a fly or sorting out a cast after netting a fish but you may be ready to cast again in an instant only to find a full length of line across your side of the boat.
Bad Angling and possibly just rude. 🙁
However if it is the position of the boat that is favouring one angler something needs to be done.
You may be able to reposition the anchor rope to angle the boat more favourably for both anglers or if drifting turn your boat around at the start of each new drift.
Or you could invite your partner to fish in your half and perhaps take a break at the same time.
Now if it is not the location of the boat and you are in open water what else could be different?
Well the next obvious thing is the Fly Line.
Your partner may well tell you that he is using an Intermediate Line when you ask but what kind?
Slow Glass, Mid Glass, Fast Glass, Cortland Blue, Kelly Green, Slime Line or Unknown!
Does it make a difference?
Well it might. A Fast Glass sinks around half an inch faster per second than a Mid Glass which sinks at 1 inch per second.
That does not sound like a lot but another way to look at is that it is 50% faster.
A Fast Glass may well be 200% faster than a Slow Glass!
Add in a slightly longer or shorter casting distance, a fraction of a difference in retrieve speed and then a gold head or a FAB on the point and you are now both fishing in a totally different ball parks.
Trout eyes are located to look forward and up so those differences in approach could mean you are very quickly going below the fish or alternatively never getting down to them.
Then of course there are the more minor differences. Leader Length. Leader Diameter. Leader Material. Fly Spacing.
Number of Flies you are using. The Distance from Fly Line to Top Dropper.
The influence of your other flies to the catching fly. Casting Distance. Casting Angle.
Turnover and Presentation.
All these and more could make up the 100 things you need to get right.
So what to do?
Well you could just grin and bear it with a smile on your face knowing what comes around usually goes around.
Or you could get your head down and imitate your partner as closely as you can.
Your Call. 🙂