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Reading Bigger Water

Started by thamilton89, August 17, 2011, 10:13:34 AM

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thamilton89

Hey guys just looking for some insight, i've done my fair amount of bluelining on tight, rhodo infested streams.. But i run into problems reading  bigger water any tips would be greatly appreciated.


Silver Creek

Quote from: thamilton89 on August 17, 2011, 10:13:34 AM

Hey guys just looking for some insight, i've done my fair amount of bluelining on tight, rhodo infested streams.. But i run into problems reading  bigger water any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Wow, there is no easy answer. The short answer is to break the river down BUT unless you know how to do this and have done it, it is hard to tell you without showing you with photos, illustrations, etc.

I can recommend you buy this book: Reading Waters by Gary Borger

Here's a sample on the Secret River from Reading Waters:

http://www.garyborger.com/2010/01/22/the-secret-river/

Here are other sample pages:

http://fishfliesandwater.com/downloads/gborger-rw-samplepages.pdf

To order:

http://www.atlasbooks.com/marktplc/03079.htm

Regards,

Silver

http://tinyurl.com/kkctayx


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

Peddler

Simply look at the big water as small sections and fish those sections as you would if they were a seperate river.

The early bird may get the worm,
but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Al

Quote from: Peddler on August 17, 2011, 13:53:45 PM

Simply look at the big water as small sections and fish those sections as you would if they were a seperate river.

Agree with Peddler :o (I know that shocks some folks) -  Forget looking for riffles and plunge pools because they will be few and far between. Some of the best fishing is right out there in the middle in all that flat looking water. See a seam or specific current and envision it as a food conveyor belt - the fish often get down below it and just open their mouths. (Nymphs are the ticket unless you see a lot of surface activity)


Silver Creek

Here's a FAQ I wrote for Flyfish@ on Reading Water. It may help for those bigger rivers:

http://www.uky.edu/~agrdanny/flyfish/faq/FAQ-5.HTM

Regards,

Silver

http://tinyurl.com/kkctayx


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

Al

August 19, 2011, 16:55:41 PM #5 Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 17:00:12 PM by Al

Read Silvers "Reading the Water" FQA with interest and agree with 90% of it. Some good info there.  The 10% where he talks about Flats may hold true elsewhere but if you ignore the flats or only fish them during a hatch you will be walking over some of the most productive water on the Smith. Certainly hit the banks, seams and obvious breaks in the water but dead drifting a weighted nymph under an indicator right out in the middle of all that flat water will put a bend in your rod.

These flat spots are the time for long leaders, no false casting and long casts. Just up and back. Lay it down gently, preferably at a 45 degree angle so your line is not drifting over the spot you're fishing.  Envision your rod as a windshield wiper blade and hit everything out in front of you. After a couple of fan casts without a hit, shuffle your feet forward and do it all over again.


Silver Creek

Quote from: Al on August 19, 2011, 16:55:41 PM

Read Silvers "Reading the Water" FQA with interest and agree with 90% of it. Some good info there.  The 10% where he talks about Flats may hold true elsewhere but if you ignore the flats or only fish them during a hatch you will be walking over some of the most productive water on the Smith.

Hi Al,

I'd like to learn more about the flats on the Smith. I'm trying to figure out why the fish hold there. Here are my thoughts.

The reason the shallow flats are barren on most of the western rivers I fish are the eagles and ospreys. They will feed on the fish in shallow water of the flats. If there are not many overhead predators on the Smith, then there is no need for the fish to avoid the flats. The San Juan is a western river that is like that.

Another thought is the depth of the flats on the Smith. I think of flats as shallow water like bone fish flats. If you mean water with a calm surface but deep enough for overhead predator protection, then I can see why there are fish there.

The third reason I can think of for fish on the flats is a super fertile river like the San Juan where there are so many fish that they have to use the flats as holding water. The normal holding areas are taken up by other fish.

The fourth reason is fish that are too large to be taken by an osprey or an eagle will occupy shallow water without fear. These fish in the 25+ inch range can stay in shallow water because they are too large for an eagle or osprey to take. The shallows are where the minnows and small trout seek protection from predators. The huge fish feed on the small fish so the flats can be hunting grounds for these large trout.

You are correct that there are rivers where the fihs can hold in the flats. I am trying to figure out why they do on the Smith.

Regards,

Silver

http://tinyurl.com/kkctayx


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

Al

Silver - You may be correct about the birds of prey out west vs the Smith. We have our share of Herons but not much else.  Most of the flat water on the Smith is knee to thigh deep with some spots a little deeper. Most are wadeable.

Very few minnows or forage fish on the Smith (That is one of the problems) so my guess is the trout are out in the middle waiting for nymphs and midges to tumble by. Might also have to do with sheer numbers of fish - The Smith has a ton of them, (just not a lot of big ones due to lack of food and super cold water temp which makes them think it is always winter),  so some may have to call the middle home.


Silver Creek

Thanks for the reply. I think I should have been more specific about what I meant by a flat. It is a combination of flat and shallow rather than just calm water. From what you have described on the Smith, some of the "flats" have enough depth that the fish can hold in them without fear from overhead predation. The Smith sounds like a great place to fish.

Regards,

Silver

http://tinyurl.com/kkctayx


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy


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