Up or Down

The Forum is Closed. Forums The Cast Up or Down

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Creek 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Scotty MacFly

    So when you approach a river, any river, and it doesn’t matter how many times you have fished it, which way do you go?

    I have a habit of always without a doubt head upstream. And I do this for a few reasons.
    First off, they say if you get lost in the woods and you find a river, head downstream because it will lead you to civilization. That’s what I’m trying to leave in the first place.

    Second, I don’t see a reason to follow downstream to just cast upstream, unless you are scouting trout, then moving down to cast to your target. But it’s like going around in circles within a big circle. SO to me, it doesn’t seem too practical. But I understand the concept. To me, it seems I used to spend more time not fishing looking for spots to fish, than actually fishing.

    When I get in a river or creek, I for some reason want to see where it’s coming from. I know reaching it’s origin at times isn’t going to happen, in fact I have yet to find an origin of the waters I fish, and I hope in some strange way I never do. But I keep heading up. It’s like every turn I take on the river, something always around the bend always gets my attention, whether it be the scenery, or a hot looking spot on the water, or running into wildlife. It’s the fact that I am getting deeper into the woods, and I am leaving the world I live in behind to experience a whole new world.

    Another reason is, well I cast upstream 99% of the time anyway. The only time I will cast down is if the fish is in an area where the current is tricky and I only get drag from casting upstream, or a low hanging vegetation where a cast upstream means losing the fly.

    Also, safety. It’s always good to see what’s coming downstream at you, especially if your fishing during runoff. I have been hit by debris when facing downstream, and let me tell you, not only does it make you wet your waders when you get hit from behind because of not knowing what the heck it is, but it hurts sometimes if it’s big enough. One time I had fire wood coming down stream ahead of me. Five or six cut up logs just floating on down. Someone upstream had to throw them in for whatever reason. But I have had big pieces of wood, like actual tree branches coming at me. Not a good time.

    And for some reason I can read the water so much easier going upstream than I can down from me. I just see it better. Maybe others don’t, but I do.

    It could also be the Brit in me. It’s all my grandfather did, because it was, and still is the way they fish the streams in Great Britain. It was the way he taught me, and it just became a part of me. And when I take someone new to this sport out for the first time, it’s how I teach them.

    Oh, and I think one of the main reasons is, casting upstream I’m always working. Watching the fly, working the line by stripping it in in time with the flow, and raising the rod tip. There’s more involved to it than casting your fly downstream and letting the current do all the work for you. That seems to me to be a very lazy unethical way to fish. Some ( many ) may disagree with me, but to each their own, or they just have not risen to the level of casting upstream and are not able to work the rod and line as well.

    Better hook ups. I am a firm believer that hooking a fish upstream you get more of a solid hook set than down.

    So there it is, at least for me. I have noticed this when I have gone fishing with my church members. And I always found it strange that some prefer going downstream. But like I said, to each their own. And some of these guys have been fishing for a long time. I’d like to hear their reasons why they prefer to do it that way. Maybe I’m missing something, but something tells me I’m not. But what do I know.

    • This topic was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by  Scotty MacFly.


    I walk downstream and fish back upstream. Then when i’m done and tired i’m at my Jeep.



    It depends on the river and the day – whether I’m alone or with a friend where we skip around one another and need to avoid disturbing the other guy’s water, whether the wind is blowing up- or downstream, whether it’s a spring creek (where a downstream presentation often is essential to trick spooky, well-educated trout, etc.

    Creek’s walk down, work back up idea makes a lot of sense as I get older and more lame.


    Scotty MacFly

    Creeks idea is certainly good. I have found, and this is just me because of the areas I fish, I fish upstream from the start, and when I am done fishing, I’m a little tired. Walking back to the truck is a downhill stroll.



    There’s something you can’t do your way Scotty that I can my way. I can look at all the water i’m going to fish before I fish it. I can also see if anybody is fishing the water i’m going to fish.

    Everything is a surprise your way.


    Scotty MacFly

    You’re right creek. That’s a good way to put it, being able to see the water you will be fishing. And of course, any other people as well.

    Every done a maze? Of course you have. When I sit and do a maze, I can’t start at the starting point. For some reason I can’t see where I am supposed to go to get to the finish. But for some strange reason, if I start at the finish and go backwards, I can see the path pretty much without having to stop and look all the time. I can generally do it in one shot and pretty quick. The normal way, I hit walls, have to trace back and it’s tough.

    I see water the same way I think. Now, I can walk downstream and work my way up like you, and I can read the water easily. But to look at the river going downstream, I can’t see it the same way. Why? Heck if I know. But it works for me.
    Then again I like surprises, good surprises.



    Makes no sense.

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