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shmish 10-05-2007 08:24 AM

fishing techniques on streams
One scenario I find myself with quite often when fishing streams is having several different speeds of water in the one area that I fishing. A perfect example would be:
me standing on one side in shallower, slower water
a tongue of faster water down the middle
slower water behind some rocks or trees on the other side of the faster water, trout will be hanging out over by the tress for protection. I don't know of any ways to consistently get a drag-free presentation to the trout. The fly will drag within a few seconds. Usually I try my luck at drifting the fly down the tongue which I may get drag free depending on how wide the tongue is. If the fast water is narrow, there are maybe two choices. Have some line in the slower water to, mend as much as possible for longer drag-free. Secondly, use only a short bit of line and hold the rod over the fly as it drifts, kind of like czech nymphing.

The above scenarios seem to happen all the time. I'd like to hear what other people think about these situations, they must be extremely common. I think it would be really fun/educational to actually go out fishing with an "expert" and see how they do it.

BigCliff 10-05-2007 08:35 AM

Re: fishing techniques on streams
a few options: A longer rod (10-11', they're out there), wade into the fast stuff (only if safe), or fish it from the other side.

An ideal set up might be a long rod for the reach, shooting line instead of a real fly line (less weight= less droop from rod tip to water), and a bounce nymphing rig with the weight on the bottom.

Frank Whiton 10-05-2007 09:25 AM

Re: fishing techniques on streams
Hi shmish,

How is your casting going. Have you got a handle on your sink tip line?

This is one of the toughest situations to get a good drift. Keep in mind that there are situations where you can't make a good cast and you have to re-position yourself to fish a certain spot. Cliff has given you good advise. The best solution is to wade out to the fast water and hold the line up by keep a very high stick position with a long rod. If the fast currant is too wide and is not a torrent, you can make an up stream cast using a reach cast and across the fast water into the slow water. You will have to quickly mend line in the fast water so it doesn't over take the line in the slow water. In some cases this will work in others it won't. The more line you have in the slow water the better this will work. Another trick is to look over the fast water and sometimes you will find slack water at the edge of the fast water going back up stream. If this is on the other side of the fast water from you, cast so the line is in the slack water and in some cases it will take the line up stream. You might even have to make a downstream mend. If you find that a reach cast or some other cast is working to give you a short drift, then adjust up or down stream so the fly is drifting in the area you want to fish. Sometimes just casting across the water from the shortest distance to the target is not the solution. I enjoy trying to work out something in these situations that works to a point that I catch a fish. Then I feel like I have really accomplished something.


shmish 10-05-2007 03:38 PM

Re: fishing techniques on streams
Some good ideas there.
Quite often I can't wade across the stream, but if I could I guess I would try casting almost directly upstream and do some fast stripping in case of a strike.

Here is a video of a stream I was fishing in August: Findlay Creek on Vimeo
how would you guys approach it? The water was too pushy to wade very far out. There were fish behind the boulders. We ended up floating nymphs down to the boulders along the eddy line (if I remember correctly). In other areas I was nymphing down through the fast water (no eddy lines) using a strike indicator. I didn't do that here, I figure the trout wouldn't be just hanging out in the fast water. There is a post about this day fishing on my blog: East Kootenay Creek Fishing at

Frank, as for my casting it's going okay. I managed to cast reasonably okay with my SA Stillwater slow sink. It really helped once I understood that I needed to get 40' of the belly out of the rod before shooting line. My biggest problem after that was a bit of technique issue. The line would shoot okay but the leader would sort of flop down instead of turning over and extending out another 9'. Oh, using a stripping basket helped tons too. I did some casting on a field with this 8wt line on my TFO 6wt rod. I think I could actually cast the line a bit better using the 6wt than using the 8wt. The 8wt just seemed a little too floppy.
Yesterday i was out on a river casting for salmon. I was using my 6wt with a floating line and 4'-5' T8 sink tip. It wasn't pretty but I got it to work. There was no way that I even got close to forming a nice loop with that setup! I think the sink tip is just too heavy for the rod but maybe I'll prove myself wrong some day. In any event, I could get some line out with it. Then later in the day I was on a different stream using my 4wt and a wf floating line. Wow, it was a while since I had cast a floating line and boy was it easy. Roll casts, shooting line, whatever. Here are a few photos from yesterday: DSCN0591 | Zooomr Photo Sharing

Frank Whiton 10-06-2007 03:31 PM

Re: fishing techniques on streams
Hi shmish,

Thanks for all of those good pictures. I really liked the one of the fence.

I studied your video for some time. It is hard to tell with out seeing the water but it doesn't look too deep. I saw several places that you could wade almost to mid stream so you can cover a lot of water. A fast river like this will have the fish resting in currant breaks next to or behind rocks. I would spend my time fishing the almost slack water areas with a floating line and some type of streamer, maybe a bugger. This is water where having different weight of flies would pay off. I would cast across or slightly down river in most places. If you cast down river you need to use what I call a wiggle cast. Some call it a slack line cast and has a series of "S" curves in the line. I did see some spots that you could cast upstream along the edges but I think the bigger fish will be further out. I would also try using a big (size 10) fly like a Royal Rulff as an indicator and a emerger style nymph. You might try a big Stimulator as the indicator fly. If you can't see the indicator fly then use an indicator. Matching the hatch is not as important in this style of water as the fish have very little time to see the fly and make up its mind. To be sure this is challenging water and you will be a much better fly fisher if you figure it out. The biggest challenge is reading the water and locating the fish. It will be extra important that you pay close attention to where you catch a fish and what the water looked like.

shmish 10-06-2007 03:49 PM

Re: fishing techniques on streams
right on Frank. The water was actually quite pushy. Not too deep, but flowing pretty good. I've spent a lot of time on water like this (kayaking, fishing, exploring), and I even fell a little bit that day: the water was just passed my knees. I think you pretty much nailed it with streamers. Using a nymph with an indicator or the trusty old woolly bugger is the way to go. I didn't try the faster current but I'll definitely do that next time. Unfortunately in BC we can't use an indicator fly, droppers are not allowed.


Fishplease 10-06-2007 04:24 PM

Re: fishing techniques on streams
I'd say try punching heavy streamers into the plunge pools, things like conehead buggers in sizes 6 or 8. Just strip out the line distance you want to shoot, double haul them far and let it shoot the line out far.

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