Spot me Bro! Fly fishing with a wingman

Updated: Apr 20, 2019

There’s something magical about being alone on a stream first thing in the morning that does something for my soul. Hearing the birds wake up, watching the fog over the water, and dreaming about the rising fish that will be visible soon.

We all have different reasons why we fish, and different trips may be for different reasons. When I need to unwind, I often mention to my wife that I need to “see my therapist”. She knows this is code language for, “can I take a day and go to the stream by myself?”.

On the other end of the spectrum, fishing can be a very social event. The entire trip, even if it’s only a one day excursion, becomes an event when two or more are involved. It usually starts the night before with something like, “Hey man, I can’t find my gink, you have any extra?” And progresses to the all anticipated “draft selection” of flies that we’ll take, and around that time the “What time you gotta be back” question comes up.

Aside from the logistical strategerizing, there is of course the fishing itself. We’ve tried various ways to “partner fish”, and what we call “spot me bro” is one of our favorites.

Spot me bro involves one partner with the rod, and the other as the “spotter”. The spotter walking ahead of and usually on higher ground than their partner. Don’t get me wrong, I love to catch fish, but when I’m the spotter and I stay low, have my polarized glasses on, and move slow, it’s an awesome experience.

Being higher up allows you to see so many things you wouldn’t normally be able to while wading in the water or fishing from the bank. The “what cast am I going to use?, is this the right fly?, what’s the current like?” questions never come up, so I’ve found it helps me slow down and truly be in the moment.

The best part of spotting though is actually spotting the fish and helping your partner land it. Yes it’s nice to be helpful, but the real fun for me is having such a close up visual of the fish coming towards the fly, breaking the surface, and shaking his head once he realizes he’s been casted as a lead character in our little play.

Usually we get so wrapped up in the fishing that we forget to take much footage, but on this one particular trip to the Iowa Driftless area (name of the stream purposely omitted) my partner, unbeknownst to me, had the camera rolling. It doesn't always work out this way, but here's what it looks like when it does!

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