How Much Ground Do You Cover? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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How Much Ground Do You Cover?

I'm interested to know how much water people typically cover during the course of a fishing day.

To borrow a phrase from former PA Angler Bob Petri, "Are you a stickler or an explorer?"

Do you fish a small stretch of water, mostly staying one general area, or do you fish miles of water?

I think it depends to a large degree on what you use. As I've said before, fly and bait fishers and can afford to stay in one spot more than lure fishers. I've found that almost all of my strikes occur within three casts in normal fishing conditions, that is, when the water is not high or low.

It also depends on how large a stream you're fishing. Not surprisingly, I cover a lot more water on smaller streams.

Due to an app I have on my phone, I can see how much I walk in a day. Of course, not all the distance shown is on the stream, but most of the distance on a fishing day can be attributed to walking in, out, or while fishing.

I fish a mixture of small, medium, and large streams, though I didn't fish as many large streams last year as I normally do. I use spinners and plugs and the occasional spoon, so I fish rather quickly.

The shortest distance I walked during a day while fishing last year was 1.7 miles. It was on a day when I fished a very popular limestone stream and didn't have to walk a long way to access the stream. The greatest distance I walked in a day was 7.8 miles, which was on a trio of remote freestone streams. According to my phone, I walked a little over 133 miles in my 32 outings last year, an average of 4.2 miles per day.

At any rate, as everyone fishes differently, I expect a wide range of answers.

TT
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 08:04 PM
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I fly fish and the streams I fish are probably medium sized I would guess. I don't cover much ground at all. I may spend a couple hours in one big hole with logs and such until I figure out the right fly. as you said though, when the right fly hits the water I will know the first cast or two.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 08:08 PM
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The only time I really cover a lot of ground is usually when I'm fishing smaller brookie streams. Otherwise I probably stay within a 1/4-1/2 mile stretch. Sometimes I'll walk in a mile or two to get to that spot, but once I'm there I usually stay put.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 07:46 AM
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In a 3-4 hour fishing trip, I usually cover about 2 miles of stream. I generally fish smaller streams. Then, theres usually a little hike in an out of the stream which might add another mile, or 2, or 6. The farthest I've ever traveled on foot to fish a stream was 16 miles. I read about a stream that was being proposed to add to the class A list. The only public access is off of a hiking trail. I ran 7 miles to get there along the hiking trail, fished 1.5 miles of stream, and then ran 7.5 miles back to my car(the stream looped around and took a course that put me back on the trail) . Fishing was decent, I caught around 50 little brookies, but I haven't been back since then. That was 3 years ago.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 07:53 AM
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And there was another time... I hiked a mile in, fished 2 miles, hiked 3 miles out. I got back to my car and realized that I lost my keys. I then ran 14 miles home. So that was a 20 mile fishing trip. Albeit the fishing was only 2 miles.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 07:57 AM
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On a few of our local creeks I can fish bridge to bridge(mile or 2 IDK) but most distances are much shorter because the next landowner has his land POSTED. I helped to stock most creeks in my county so I knew what was open to fishing and what wasn't. Stock landowner "A's" place skip landowner "B+C's" and stock at landowner "D's". On trips up north I would put miles on the creeks I fished because they were on state land.

I'm primarily a spinner guy however I like lures(minnow, crayfish plugs/spoons) as well. Plus I'm not above sticking a worm on to work over a good looking hole. I've had my share of trout flash at my lure and sometimes switching up catches those fish. Sometimes you can keep throwing the same lure and tick that fish(or another that you didn't see) into striking. Pocket water I'll work through pretty quick but if I see a hole, tree root, cut bank or some other spot the screams fish I'll work it over pretty good.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troutdoorsmen View Post
And there was another time... I hiked a mile in, fished 2 miles, hiked 3 miles out. I got back to my car and realized that I lost my keys. I then ran 14 miles home. So that was a 20 mile fishing trip. Albeit the fishing was only 2 miles.
Triathalon fishing
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 01:17 PM
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I usually love exploring a stream, always wondering what's around the next bend. If I'm just fishing the evening hatch I'll usually just fish one pool, maybe two. If I have all day to fish, I'll fish accordingly and cover water, especially on a new stream.

On my Adirondack trips I do a mix of exploring and staying put. I can recall fishing a particular pocket between 3 large boulders and in a couple hours of high-stick nymphing I caught over 40 fish and only moved a total of 2 steps. It was an incredible morning.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 11:20 PM
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I'm a flyfisher and I enjoy fishing forested freestone wild trout streams. Pretty commonly I'll fish about 2 miles of water, then walk 2 miles back, so about 4 miles of walking.

Sometimes I'll walk up to 6 miles.

These mileages are less than what I used to do when I was younger.

Then about 6 miles per day was typical for me. And 8 miles per day wasn't unusual.

One time I fished 4 miles of stream, then got lost when hiking back, so the total walk was 11 miles.

I've got leg cramps after some of the long fishing ventures. But I read somewhere that you should eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich and drink chocolate milk afterwards for muscle recovery, and that works very well.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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I've got leg cramps after some of the long fishing ventures. But I read somewhere that you should eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich and drink chocolate milk afterwards for muscle recovery, and that works very well.[/QUOTE]
I sometimes get leg cramps after long fishing days too. I’ll have to try that. Thanks!
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