Walking and watching…

This is a very low water year, maybe the fourth worst in a hundred and five years.
You can turn this to your advantage, by walking the river to see it’s bones.
Channels, holes, cobble bars, reefs, undercuts, and much more, are exposed to view.
I’m amazed at the true depth of the holes we fish, and the challenge of a good drift through them at normal flows.
And, in addition to visible structure…..the fish can often be seen.

The best way to learn about them is to watch them, and now is a good time….
I followed an 8″ wild bow for fifty yards a few days ago.
After he passed me, I would hurry ahead and sitting still, let him catch up.
He was never out of sight, nor was I seen by him.
I watched him lying on his side, wiggling and feeding under rocks and on shady sides.
It took a while, but finally I figured out, it was baby water boatmen…

The thing I enjoy most, is watching a pool until they appear out of nowhere.
A friend and I sat and watched a hole near downtown yesterday.
The water was crystal clear, and 24″ deep, we could see everything……
And then the fish started rising….
Their camouflage is like a cloaking device, even when you know exactly where they are…
There shadow is the only thing giving away…they can’t hide that.
So with practice you look where they should be, and see what can’t be seen…..

A few days before, while walking a trail near the water, but well above it, I could see flashes as they rolled underwater to Baetis emergers. A quick seine confirmed my suspicion.
You can be a formidable fisherman when you know what they’re eating and where they are.
Spend some time not fishing, you’ll be amazed what you learn!

About Bigflyguideservice

Full time fly fishing guide on the Truckee River and other California state waters. Smaller stream techniques as well as switch rod instruction. 40 years experience fly fishing. Catch and release only.
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