Trout Lies

I’ve been reading through George Daniel’s book, Strip-Set recently.  There is certainly an enormous amount of information in the text to digest and I recommend it to anyone that is interested in upping their streamer game.

There is one particular part of the content that for some reason resonated with me more than the rest upon my first time through the book, it was regarding the different lies that you find trout in.  This was information that my father had given me when I first donned waders as a youngster and accompanied him to the trout stream with my Zebco rod and reel combo and empty cottage cheese container full of night crawlers the thunderstorm a few days prior brought to the earths surface.  It is also information that had been reinforced literally hundreds of times as I floated down a river and banged out casts to what I thought were spots that a trout may be sitting.

The way that George laid this information out in the book resulted in a moment of clarity.  It caused me to reflect on every good trout that was either hooked or indicated interest in a streamer on the dozens of streamer floats I had been on the previous year. I was able to quickly remember the exact type of water the fish came from and place it into one of the 3 categories below.

There are 3 different types of lies that you will find trout.

  1. Resting Lies – spots where trout are able to sit comfortably without expending many calories.  They are well protected places, most often difficult to get a bug into.  When a trout is in a resting lie, it may feed opportunistically – but will most often times show some sort of territorial aggression instead of actually consuming a fly.  This held true as I reflected upon the fish of the season past, fish that we “moved” or that gave chase to our streamers in this type of water very rarely ever found any hooks.  Most often these were fish that immediately flashed at the fly, and quickly turned back to the depths.  A behavior similar to that my 6 pound Chihuahua puts on display when when our 60 pound lab approaches his bed.  He puffs his chest out and charges at him about 3 steps to shoo him away and then curls back up and continues to dream about setting everything and everyone on fire.
  2. Hunting Lies – these are spots that are some distance away from the resting lies.  This is where trout hunt and look for food.  Often times I can identify this as shallower broken water, inside bends, or soft outside edges where smaller prey fish congregate.  This is the Old Country Buffet – we all have to drive there, strap the feedbag on, they don’t come to us.  Most of the trout that we saw AND most importantly hooked last year came from this type of water.
  3. Preferred Lies – this is an area that is a combination of a resting lie and a hunting lie, a trout can rest here and feed here – it doesn’t need to leave here.  This is where you find the bruisers, the biggest trout in any given area will certainly be in these spots.  That held 100% true for us last year, on a number of occasions the biggest fish that was seen the entire day came from this exact water.

Fish caught out of a high water hunting lie


hunting 2

Fish caught out of a hunting lie

preferred lie

Fish caught in a preferred lie

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