Re: Help me understand
I may be alone, but I don't really look at the specific flow numbers as a main determination on how to fish a body of water. I use it more as a guide to help estimate the safety of wading it.
Each river is different and each will have a different set of standards. Let's look at two rivers by me
River A: average flows of 400-600cfs. I know this to be a safe level to wade and a very manageable current. If it shoots above 1200, wading is limited to flooded areas and slack water pockets close to shore. Above that - I'm staying home or fishing a different body of water.
In addition, I can get an idea of how clear or muddy the water will be before I leave the house. If it's flowing at 500cfs, chances are that I will have about a foot or two of visibility on this particular river. If its flowing at 800 or 900, I know that the water will be pretty muddy. Above that, visibility is practically zero.
River B: Average flows of about 150-250cfs. That is my clear water flow and safe wading level. Above that it all changes.
The point is that you have to look at each river ona case by case basis. Average flow is your benchmark and you need to know the river to know what that benchmark is.
It's only once I am at the river that I can tell where to fish, how to fish it, and what to use.