my question would be- what smart fisherman would fish upstream from a starting point and not fish on the way back?
and- im not sure about this whole san juan shuffle stuff- but in the small clear mountain streams i fish- any disturbance has the potential to put the fish down- you tread soft...
Is the way back along the river? Some places I fish it isn't. I may drop into pools on the way back if I can, but as I explained before working downstream but fishing up pools, the usually most efficient way, means walking up to 3 times as far. Often it is quicker to walk back and fish up again.
One length of the river Tame in Saddleworth springs to mind. It takes about two hours to fish up it thoroughly. Then about 10 to 15 minutes to walk back. The path back is only 20 to 30 feet from the river but up to 40 feet above it. Its a very loose bank, you wouldn't want to try to navigate from the path to the river. This is just one example, but the situation isn't uncommon.
makes sense- we all fish different water/streams that demand their own approach- so it appears highly variable/situational... i fish some pretty steep gradiant streams- it can be physically taxing and im not getting any younger, but unless i am running out of light i will usually fish my way back.