Fly fishing a small stream or creek is problematic with a buddy. There is just not enough water to fish side by side. Tangled lines or someone hogging the best holes can result in frustration and anger.
One option is to go alone, but when you want to travel with a partner, go into a remote area, or just want to share the experience with a buddy, using the leapfrog bandanna technique and baseball game technique allows fishing buddies to share the water and have some fun.
This is a simple idea that has been around for a while, yet, underutilized. Take a colorful bandanna with you when fishing a small stream. One person will decide a point on the stream to start fishing. His friend will walk upstream (staying away from the water as much as possible so the fish are not spooked), giving his friend several good holes to fish, or upward of a hundred yards or so. At the point where the second person starts fishing, he will loosely tie the bandanna to a willow or river birch limb in a visible location at approximately head high.
When his friend fishes up to the bandanna, he will untie it, determine where his friend is, walk past him giving him several good holes and tie the bandanna to a limb where he starts fishing again.
The leapfrog bandanna technique will allow each angler his own undisturbed water and a little solitude. The anglers can meet up at the bandana periodically to compare notes and discuss which flies are working and the size, species and number of fish caught. They can also meet up for a little streamside lunch, thus, making it a fun day of fishing.
Who's up for a little baseball while fly fishing? This is a great game to play for two buddies on a creek or small stream. It's fun and allows you to fish together on waters that would otherwise be too hard to share.
You can play it with one fly rod or even better with each angler using his own.
Here is how to play: You decide which person is up first. He casts his fly into a hole, run or riffle. If he has a trout hit his fly but fails to hook it, that is a strike (pun intended). As soon as he gets three strikes without a hookup, he is out and the friend gets to try. He can either try the same spot or he can move upstream to the next likely spot. At any time during the casting and presentation an angler hooks a trout, it is a home run and the other angler is up. If you want, you can keep score and the loser can buy lunch on the way home.
With the kids back in school, football season here, and hunters focusing on their quarry, the Fall season is a great time to get out on small streams and creeks. The bandana and baseball game techniques are great ways to share the water with a friend.