Sometimes landing your fly within ONE inch of shore is absolutely necessary to produce consistent strikes and also strikes from potentially very large bass and even sunfish. As we all know, this area also holds what maybe a casters biggest frustration – snags.
Every type of snag can be found here from tree branches and their roots, vines, grass, lilly pads, and honestly an occasional abandoned trot line. These snags can create some of the biggest frustrations and turn a “good day” into less hair on your head or even throwing a rod in the water (I saw it happen!) Some people play it conservative and will generally remember that day as “good” or “eh, it was fun,” and others landing closest will at least have a great chance of creating the memory of “that day” or “the big one.
When I set out I try to adjust my mind-set and expectation for the upcoming day, as a way to ease the oncoming frustrations. I start knowing that I am going to get caught in that branch, but eventually I will get a tight loop under one, and then that root underneath the surface will grab it! And every time I’ll go in protecting my eyes, looking for spiders and snakes, and spend the time untangling that mess that forms in a heartbeat, followed by brushing myself off. I can’t say that every trip I go on will create a “that day!” memory, as I can be a realist. However, by getting your fly in the right spot will at least give you a chance of “the big one” or having “that day!” Just expect to get caught of snags, so then it’s not so hard to deal with when it happens, and you’ll fish harder throughout the whole day.