We’re really lucky at our lodges to be able to target trout in a number of ways. However, one of the most common (and most effective) ways in which we target trout is by rowing downstream in traditional ‘drift boat’ fashion.
Rowing allows you to cover the maximum amount of water possible, thus putting your fly in front of far more fish over the course of the day than you ever could on foot.
One of the most common mistakes we see on a regular basis when rowing for trout is spending too much time on a particular lie. The beauty of rowing is that you are actively targeting the most aggressive fish in the river, those which eat on the first attempt. Unlike when fishing on foot, there is usually not enough time for a second presentation. So, make your cast (downstream that is), fish your drift, and if he doesn’t eat, immediately start looking for the next fishy spot to put your fly. Don’t waste your time trying to cast back upstream as you will only get a poor drift, and possibly miss out on the next piece of good water.
Anticipating your next target is the key to success when rowing for trout. Or, as Alaska West guide, Eric Robbins, puts it; Fish to the future, not to the past.. There’s more fish there anyhow.