Fishing for Social Distancing
OutdoorHub Reporters 03.20.20
It seems there are quite a few of us finding extra time on our hands these days, making this the perfect time to squeeze in some fishing. There are plenty of fishing activities you can enjoy, all while keeping your distance from others. Plus, fishing is a good skill to have in a survival situation. With that said, it’s time to hit the water and enjoy some fishing for social distancing.
1. Fly fishing
If you fly fish already, you know how relaxing and fun the sport is. There is nothing quite like a quiet stream, river, or pond when you’re working the line and getting the strike. Fly fishing world for just about every species of fish and every type of water this side of a frozen lake. It’s a relaxing, peaceful sport and you are assured of solitary relaxation. Casting a fly rod, if you haven’t done it before, isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it as long as you remember that you’re casting the line, not the lure. For panfish, try bugs and poppers depending on the water temperature. If it’s cold, try minnow imitating wet flies with a slow retrieve. For trout species, match the hatch, as they say. For spring fishing, you’ll most likely be using wet flies that imitate emerging insects and minnows. A good 6wt rod around 9-feet long is perfect for just about everything that is perfectly sized for the frying pan.
2. Spring Steelhead
If you live in areas where steelhead run the river in winter and spring, well, you should already be fishing for them. If you’re not, what are you waiting for? Steelhead provide a very challenging species that fights incredibly hard. They are one of our absolute favorite species to target and they make excellent table fare. They have a protein rich meat and are an excellent source of Omega-3s. Look for holes and bends that have enough structure to hold fish. From shore, or by wading, you can use a long steelhead rod and slowly bounce spawn or insect-imitating flies. The point is to get it right in front of the fish and either trigger a feeding response, or a territorial response. Either way, the strike should be quite obvious. If you’re in a boat, or can wade in above a hole, you can also slowly back bounce a plug, like a Hot-N-Tot right in front of the fish. So much fun.
3. Baitcasting Practice
My son has been at me to let him use one of my baitcast rods and reels. I keep telling him that it takes a lot of practice before he should try fishing with one. The learning curve takes some time and you might as well load up the reel with the cheapest line possible at first because we all know what’s going to happen. Now is the perfect time to practice with the baitcaster. Get a practice weight and head out into the yard to work on getting the cast down before you’ll be headed out on the water. Even I’ll be doing this because we can all use a little practice now and then. If you’ve never used one, now is a great time to start. Get a good low-profile reel like an Abu Garcia Revo X on a 6ft rod and get to work. That way when you hit the water, there will be no birds’ nests.