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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 08-18-2014, 10:36 AM
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Default Advice for slow, deep pools.

I was up in the Driftless area last week and one of the creeks I was fishing had several slow, deep pools that were very long and narrow. There were lots of bigger fish holding in the middle and tails of these pools, where the water was the slowest. I tried slowly drifting an indicator with basically every fly I had in my box, then switched to terrestrials on top, and nothing would get them to move.

So my question is how would one go about attacking this type of water? This is my first year chasing trout, so a lot of this small creek fishing is very new to me.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

Are you sure they were Trout?
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

Stripping streamers is the ticket. I don't overly enjoy fishing that kind of stretch because it's devoid of much of a drift but they can be very productive. I've watched my fishing bud pull out loads of fish and often some larger sized ones from sections of water like that.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

Two ways I fish those stretches...either go the streamer route if the water is a bit murky or it's a dark day, or use a dry fly and dropper. This time of year I'd probably go with a big generic hopper pattern like a Stimulator, with a small, size 18 or 20, bead head nymph hanging off it on 2-3 feet of tippet.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

I don't want to sound like Captain Obvious, but fish where the fish are. I like fishing deep in areas like that. Try a beadhead, or sinktip to get down. If the fish are holding where they are comfortable because of cover, or better water temperature, they may stay put and not waste much energy chasing a small morsel. Get to their level, and make it worth their while.
Good luck !
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

The thing about deep pools are that they are the sanctuaries for the trout.

Think about why a fish would be in the middle of the pool. The best spot to feed is at the head of the pool. Second best is where the food is concentrated at the tail of the pool. The worst spot to gather food is deep in the middle. IF they are at the surface in the middle of the pool then that is evidence that they are looking for food, Not so if they are down deep.

So there is a good chance that the fish that are there are resting and not in a feeding mood. They may be fish that feed at night and the pools are where they rest during the day. They may have just gotten a good meal.

To catch a fish they have to either be feeding or in the mood to feed. So if you are confident that the fly got down to the fish and you got a good presentation, I would just move on when you get refusals.

Knowing where the "active" feeding fish are going to be is part of reading the water.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

I fish it slow and low.

I try to figure them out on the dry.

On a small creek....make your first cast count. Be patient and pick your spots.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

Take off the indicator add some splitshot and tight line it. If you can see them and they're still not taking then you have to get it right in front of their face. Basically you've been spotted and they are laughing at your efforts in trying to catch them.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

Lots of good advice above.

I've found that fish in places like that rarely take the flies that seem to be working just above or below those pools on the stream.

Try something different - streamers instead of dries; dries instead of nymphs; just so it's a different type.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Advice for slow, deep pools.

I'd probably go with the big dry fly as indicator and a nymph on a dropper, and add a) more tippet on the dropper and b) more weight than usual. Tungheads are useful in this scenario.

I would also approach it from upstream, which sounds crazy, but I find trout in this situation are stimulated to feed by the rising nymph.

That means getting down low above the deep pool and waiting 15 minutes or so, while pretending to be a bush. Then a series of short casts, each time getting a little longer.

All easier said than done.
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