Fly or spin fishing from a moving boat requires the proper presentation. Normally the boat is drifting at or slightly slower than the river current. Leading the boat will allow you the time needed to make a drag free drift, strip, or retrieve.
Standing in the boat stanchions gives the fisherman a sturdy and secure base to cast from. Both bow, and stern anglers can have an open casting zone. Ironically, most fish are caught by the stern angler. There seems to be a better view of upcoming targets. The rear angler also seems to get tangled less. Their casting is unobstructed and behind the boat.
You want the cast to drift naturally and look as if no line is attached to the fly or lure. Mending in the opposite direction is required to get a long drift.
Communication between the oarsman and anglers is important. That way the boat can be canted for the best casting. You want to be far enough from the banks to cast but not spook the fish. The stern angler will have the best view and can make good suggestions.
When you cast behind the boat, or drift, your fly or lure will begin to drag. This unnatural presentation will drown your dry flies, drag the nymphs and make the spinner or lure work too fast. There is only one time when dragging a fly works. Trolling streamers in deeper runs and pools can be effective. Twitch the streamer occasionally to improve action. Strikes can be powerful, so hold on to the rod. It is not uncommon to swing a streamer cast ahead of the boat and allow it to drag behind before the next cast. This way you get a full, deep, cast.
When hoppering or fishing attractors along the banks, most strikes come in the first 5 seconds of the presentation. Fish can strike at any time but can also become boat shy quickly.
Always strip in the slack so you can quickly set the hook. Sharpening your hooks will improve your hook ups to three times or more compared to not sharpening. Have the net ready and communicate when fighting fish.
Get in the swing of casting from your boat!
For more Montana Grant, lead him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.