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Old 05-11-2008, 10:32 PM
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Default Fishing fast moving water (beginner's question)

Hi all,

I've only been fly fishing once before, so I'm still trying to figure out what types of water are going to hold fish.

Will fast moving water hold trout? I went to a place called Sugar Hollow, and I didn't see anyone fishing there, and I didn't see any fish there (maybe because the water was moving too fast for it to them to be visible), so I'm wondering if these areas of fast moving waters will hold many fish, or if I should just skip them and go to the pools of water or areas of slower moving water. When I say the water's fast, I mean the rushing of the water is pretty loud and my fly floats down river maybe 1ft per second (maybe? i'm kinda bad at estimating it). Also, the place where I'm fishing is very rocky.

Can someone help me out?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Fishing fast moving water (beginner's question)

We're only guessing on the depth and speed of the water here. But, from what you're describing, this is pretty tough water to start out on!! Nonetheless, there's a good probability that fish are in there. They don't like to buck the current, so they'll hang in those pockets of slower water you see behind the boulders. Sometimes there is a cushion in front of the boulders they'll hang out in as well. They'll dart out to the faster water to grab something going by and then duck back into their pocket of slower water. Also, watch closer to the stream banks. Often the water closer to the bank is slower than the water towards the center. Fish will hang out in the slower water that's closer to the bank and feed right on the edge of that seam between fast and slow water. It often pays to make your first casts along that 'seam' before you go splashing around in the stream.

Finally, even fast water, if it has a little depth to it, runs slower on the bottom. Any rocks and obstructions on the bottom will give a fish a place to hang out with out needing to fight the current. Get a nymph or wet fly down there on the bottom where they're hanging out!

As far as your other 2 questions: without a lot of elaboration, a leader is tapered so it will cast properly. There might be certain situations where you could use level mono (off a boat for example) but generally you'll use tapered leader so it turns over properly. Secondly, while there are exceptions to the rule, a dry fly generally drifts right along with the current - just like a real bug floating on the water would. At the end of the drift, you'll pick your fly up (with the rod of course! Ha!) and flip it back up stream for another 'drag free' drift.

I'm sure you'll get some other really good info from others on this site that are more knowledgeable than me, but it's midnight and I was in a typing mood!
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Fishing fast moving water (beginner's question)

Good info from 'Green' on faster water,(structure, slower current on the bottom, and edges by the banks).
Also adjust the weight that you need accordingly.
Overall I would say to hit the slower sections and pools.

"I've never missed a Steelhead by waiting too long. It's true, but I've missed plenty trying to set the hook too quickly." Dec Hogan 'A Passion For Steelhead'

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Old 05-16-2008, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Fishing fast moving water (beginner's question)

I would need to see the riffle myself to be sure (some are best left to whitewater rafters and adventurous kayakers...), but I've caught fish right around riffles before. As Green pointed out, the water speed a few feet down is often much slower than it is on the surface due to the bottom of the stream becoming deeper. A trout will hang out in the relatively slower water there, or to the side of the riffle, behind a boulder, and wait there for food to float down the current and into its line of sight. Overall, fast moving water can be hard for a beginner to fish because it's often required to get a nymph deep in such water, quickly, and watching an indicator is often pointless due to all of the different movements on the surface of the water. Most fish I have caught in riffles have been accidental-on the back cast a fish was already taking a bite of the fly.
The other flies, n., pl.
1. dry flies, nymphs, emergers, terrestrials, streamers, etc.
2. What I use when a black #10 woolly bugger isn't catching.
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