See Stealth Fishing Animation for live action footage.

Just how much does a fish see above the surface? Do fish run from you 30 feet away? The purpose of this page is to increase your catching by eliminating the small things we do wrong. The greatest fly, that $600 dollar fly rod, those $300 waders and the new Range Rover will make you look good, but they won't help at all if you spook the fish.

Even hatchery fresh fish will bite better if they think no one is around and wild fish are just down right paranoid. In NC we have the 'delayed harvest waters' and those fish (when just put in) will take a fly between you feet but the wild trout in the headwaters (where there isn't 5 fisherman for every pool) will spook just because the line landed 6 feet away. I'm going to concentrate on trout but the same principles apply to all fish.

First things first, just how much does a fish see above the water?

I don't know how true this is but it works well in my experience. You know how water angles light? The same thing happens to a trout's vision. Notice how this wide angle of vision above the water is funneled to the fish thru a small spot above his head. I go by this rule, if I can see the fish then chances are good he can see me, if I can't see him then chances are still good he can see me. Ofcourse he is seeing a large field of vision cramped down into a small spot and I think this is our greatest advantage. What gets his attention is movement and loud color.

I have crept up to within feet of trout in shallow clear water and said "Boo!" real loud but the fish don't seem to be affected by noise, however if I bump the bank real hard they go scurrying for cover. They seem to pick up ground/water vibrations better than from the air. Yes, they have a lateral line like a bass that picks up vibrations. We all have been standing in the same spot for 15 minutes trying to untangle a leader and have trout swim within feet of us (while standing straight up) and not get a second look but when we move that rod to put the fly in front of him he bolts. I also have noticed friends who wear loud colored hats spook fish, they wonder why they don't get invited back for the next trip. I wear earthtone clothes and sometimes camo, move slow and try not to crunch gravel or step heavy. Try to keep an object like a rock or tree between you and the trout and keep your back against the bank.Think like Rambo or a Ninja, don't blunder into it (but with style) like James Bond.


How not to approach the fish.


Thats better!



Get on your hands and knees and crawl if you have to but stay low and try to come up from behind, I'm convinced most fish are focusing forward (upstream) for the next meal.

Here our hero does it right. When you keep your back to the bank, you not only break up your silhouette but you have more room to cast in small streams.

Notice how our man is wearing dull earthtone clothes, staying low, coming up from behind and staying against the bank.

See Stealth Fishing Animation for live action footage.