Can you catch trout when people are swimming nearby?

On hot summer days there is no place I would rather be than by a cold, clear, clean mountain river. Many other people also have the same idea and some popular holes can become surprisingly busy people playing and swimming in the water.

This brings up the point of this article. Is it a good idea to go fishing near where people are swimming. Is it even possible to catch trout?

I will start by giving my opinion. I never fish close to where people are swimming. There are two good reasons why people playing and splashing around in the water typically scare fish away. Most trout, will be scared hiding under the deepest overhang they can be found. So the chance of catching a trout is extremely low.

Secondarily, casting close to people swimming is simply not a good idea. Sooner or later, someone will come in contact with your line and if you are extra careless you might end up hooking someone. I swim a lot over the summer months, I also swim in the rivers I fish. I have learnt a lot about the underwater world of the trout. More than once, when swimming in popular swimming locations I have come across an anglers line cast across my path. I seriously do not know what such people are thinking.

If you want to fish, avoid the swimming holes.

It seems like 90% of swimmers head to the deepest holes nearest the road, and for some reason, quite a few anglers also head there. Maybe they are there with their family, but seriously. Fishing and swimming in the same pool does not really mix.

If you want to catch fish, then walk upstream until you find water away from the swimmers. This is usually possible. Sure, on busy weekends in summers, the solitude might still be interrupted by the occasional tuber, but the fish will still be much more relax.

Do tubers or kayakers scare trout?

Imagine, you just got to your favorite fishing hole, only for your solitude to be interrupted by a line of people in tubes floating gently downstream. Will there presence scare the trout, is it even worth fishing?

I been trout fishing for years, I have seen almost everything. I have had tubers, rafters, jetboats and even a whole class of Whitewater kayakers travel downstream in front of me. I do not let such events ruin my fishing. I have caught good trout minutes after people have floating downstream.

Usually, at worst the trout will go off the feed for a few minutes. Over the summer months, trout do see quite a few people and they do become more accustomed to their presence.

So if my fishing gets interrupted by passing tubers, kayakers, or even rafters. I simply stop fishing for a few minutes, maybe grab a bite to eat, and retie my knots. Five or ten minutes later, the trout should be back on the feed and I will resume my fishing.

Fish early morning, or late in the afternoon.

If you really want to fish in a popular swimming area, it is best to get there early or late in the day. This is a good idea for two reasons. The first is that the water will be cooler, so the trout are more likely to be feeding. Trout fishing is tough when the water is too warm.

Secondarily, there is very unlikely to be anyone still swimming. The trout which live in that section of river will likely be hiding all day, so they are keen to start feeding once the day trippers head home.

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