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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2013, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

Two thoughts...

First, pounding the banks is probably one of the most effective ways to fish high and muddy water. The water is almost always slower there than in the middle of the river. The bank offers 2 areas of friction that help slow that water down - the first is the bottom of the river and the second is the vertical bank itself. This not only means that the predators have to work less to hold a position but it also means that the prey it self has to work less hard. The name of the game in the fish world is efficiency (least amount of effort for the biggest reward = success). This is a perfect equation for predators.

My second thought with the whole no fish behind rocks is that despite Tom's wonderful explanation, I call BS. I have caught so many fish that were staged behind (downstream) of a boulder that I just don't buy into it. It's the same principle that I made in my first point. While there may be some turbidity to the water behind a rock, it is less current than in the main current to the left or right of the rock where the foam is. This spot also serves as a prime ambush spot for feeding fish. As prey washes by under the foam, the predator can dart from the slower water behind the rock, grab their food, and dart back to the slower water; i.e. less energy and big reward= success.

The trick to that is to not necessarily place your fly behind that rock but rather where they foam is just as natural food would do.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

Any species of fish will get out of currents that drain their energy. That may be behind rocks if the rock is large enough to provide sufficient break in the current. I agree with itchmesir, that not all rocks will provide enough of a current break. Muddy water certainly makes reading the water more difficult to determine if a particular rock provides enough of a current break. However, unless you're extremely familiar with a section of water, if you cannot determine visually how much current break is provided, then a few casts doesn't hurt. I've caught fish in places that I don't normally find them due to the higher water, so, a rock, or other obstruction can provide a sufficient current break under such conditions, particularly if it's close the bank.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

When the Truckee is high and dirty I fish streamers often. Big bulky water pushing streamers. I'll throw a few different colors until I find one that is working.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

I like to use big bright coloured streamers when fishing murky water. Streamers like the Mickey Finn, Tri-Color, smelt patterns that I tie myself....all of them having some added flash like flashabou. My favourite size is a 4 to 8 X long size 2 streamer hook.

For brook trout, I fish the streamers deep. I add a short length of lead core line to the end of my fly line. I have a few different lengths of lead core line with a loop at each end. I just add the lead core between the fly line and the leader. I don't like to add lead to the streamer because I want the streamer to be as light as possible in order to reduce snagging on the bottom. The tapered leader is a good 6 to 9 feet long. This way, the line may rub on bottom but the streamer is above bottom.

If the water is very muddy, I prefer using a big hammered silver flutter spoon on spinning equipement.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

Wait another week or so for the water to clear up and drop back down
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookfieldangler View Post
Two thoughts...

First, pounding the banks is probably one of the most effective ways to fish high and muddy water. The water is almost always slower there than in the middle of the river. The bank offers 2 areas of friction that help slow that water down - the first is the bottom of the river and the second is the vertical bank itself. This not only means that the predators have to work less to hold a position but it also means that the prey it self has to work less hard. The name of the game in the fish world is efficiency (least amount of effort for the biggest reward = success). This is a perfect equation for predators.

My second thought with the whole no fish behind rocks is that despite Tom's wonderful explanation, I call BS. I have caught so many fish that were staged behind (downstream) of a boulder that I just don't buy into it. It's the same principle that I made in my first point. While there may be some turbidity to the water behind a rock, it is less current than in the main current to the left or right of the rock where the foam is. This spot also serves as a prime ambush spot for feeding fish. As prey washes by under the foam, the predator can dart from the slower water behind the rock, grab their food, and dart back to the slower water; i.e. less energy and big reward= success.

The trick to that is to not necessarily place your fly behind that rock but rather where they foam is just as natural food would do.
Maybe the problem here is more so what one considers "behind the rock" or rather "down stream of the rock"... I know what you're getting at... the slack downstream of the rock is where a fish will hold... not behind it...


Imagine "O" as a rock and "X" as the trout... "~" for water...

A fish will not be staged here:
~~~~~
OX~~~~
~~~~~
... because the the amount of turbulence is just gonna be too much energy for a fish to sit in and feed effectively...

A fish is more likely to be sitting here:
~~~~~~~
O ~ ~ X~~~
~~~~~~~

as there will be a break in the current from the rock... allowing for a pocket for the trout to sit and weave in and out of the current to feed on a drifting buffet
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

Nice make-shift graphics there itchmesir... well done, but I have to go with brookfieldangler on this one. Not sure what/why Tom would say that about the current being unpredictable behind a rock.

At the surface - YES - very violent and swirling. Fortunately for trout, they hold closer to the bottom where the currents are calm and food naturally funnels in and collects. A large number of fast water macro species actually migrate INTO the calm eddies behind midstream boulders to hatch... and the trout follow 'em right in there.

I never pass up mid-stream obstructions. That would go for warmwater rivers/species as well. Tom R. missed this one badly IMO.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

I wrote a short article for our chapter newsletter on how to fish during high flows. For those of you who are interested, it can be found on page 3.

http://www.wrvtu.org/pdfs/TU%20newsl...ril%202010.pdf
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Advice: High & Muddy Waters

I've always found that when the conditions are truly 'high & muddy' taking a stream side stroll with the camera and my Zeiss 10 X 25 mini's along for some birding is the best use of the day.

I know what it's like to be chomping at the bit in the spring. I've been suffering from this since I was only 8 years old, as the years add up on you you may go for the camera and binocular thing as well.

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