Side Pressure Strip Alternative To Hand-Over-Hand Retrieving

Many of the high lakes I fish have trees right up to the shore. In situations like that, laying your rod back behind you so you can get a grip on your line to land a fish is nearly impossible but, I believe I have come up with a simple solution for this problem, which involves fighting the fish with Side Pressure instead of using the normal vertical rod position.

For a right-handed angler, you apply left side pressure with your rod (between waist to shoulder high) to the fish so the fish will swim to your right and into the bank, allowing you to grab your line with your left hand right out in front of you. Next, transfer the line to your rod grip hand, controlling it with your first finger and thumb of your right hand and strip the line in with your left hand to the left, from above your rod holding hand controlling the line until the fish is hanging just below your rod, then grab the fish and unhook it and release the fish with both hands if necessary.

If it is windy, it helps a lot if the wind is blowing your line toward the left for a right-handed angler. For left-handed anglers, all the above directions would be reversed, assuming you cast left-handed. On many of the lakes I fish, there are sedges growing in between the shore and the open water of the lake. Trout are naturally pretty streamlined fish, and they will usually strip in through the grass without hanging up but shoreside brush can be more problematic with fish hangups. Because narrow streams tend to have an alley of open water running down their centers with brush and tree lined banks, this technique may not be as useful for stream fishing as it is useful for Stillwaters unless the rod you are fishing is sorter than the open-water section of the stream is wide…Karl.

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Over the last two hike in high lake fishing trips (including wet releases), I have used the Pressure/Strip Retrieve Technique on more than 250 fish now. And I believe that is a big enough sampling that I can say, with out any reservations at all, that it works exceedingly well. Give it a try and see what you think…Karl.