Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stream Stratagies - Riffles

To become a successful fly fisher you need to be able to read the water—that is to know where fish live, feed and hide from predators. It is also important to identify water types—riffles, glides, pocket water and pools. The more you can learn about the water structure and types the better for your success. The following photos are the first in a 4-part series of identifying and fishing water types.  

A wide stretch of riffles. 
Riffles are challenging to fish because strikes are usually quick. When you dead drift a nymph you must react quickly to a strike. If you fish a dry fly, constant attention to the fly and quick and timely reflexes are mandatory.

Pocket water blending into riffles. 
Generally riffles are one to three feet deep and have a choppy surface due to an irregular rock bottom. The water tumbles over the rocks and causes a roughly distorted surface and makes it difficult for fish to see the angler. 

Many different flies can be used with success in this water type. I like to use dry flies because the takes are usually quick and splashy. Nymphs can also be used but snagging the bottom is a concern. Streamers will also work. To ensure a good hookup, quick responses are necessary.

Learning a stream or river from the bottom up is an invaluable way to increase your success. One way to accomplish this is to go to a river when it is at a summer low and take photos of the bottom structure such as logs, rocks, cut banks and drop offs. Then, when you fish it in higher water conditions, you’ll get a more accurate idea of where the fish will be holding.

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