Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

See This, Do That: Catching Trout in the Slow, Shallow Riffle

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

FlyTalk
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

December 19, 2012

See This, Do That: Catching Trout in the Slow, Shallow Riffle

By Kirk Deeter

This one is for Sinjin Eberle, who said he wanted us to reprise the "see this, do that" lessons.

In this case, we're looking at a classic midsummer trout scenario (appropriately, this shot is from Argentina). The water is very low and clear. The river bottom is a mix of fine gravel, rocks and sand. It's a hot, bright day (the sun is almost directly overhead). This is a spring creek, so the water temperatures are still perfectly cool. There are rainbows and a couple of browns lurking in this run.

Can you guess where the fish are, what fly we used, and how we approached them?

I'll help.

The first thing you'll notice is that we're all standing back. I took the photo, and I'm crouching back from the edge of the high bank. Felipe (the angler) actually got into the river 20 yards or so downstream of where you see him now.  He is deliberately creeping his way into the run. The number one thing he's worried about is making shadows or sudden motions that will reveal himself to the fish. The number two thing he's worried about is making wakes or grinding the gravel with his boots and causing noise or vibrations. I am not at all exaggerating when I tell you that it will take him another 10 minutes before he unfurls the first cast.

The fish are where you expect them to be. The large browns are in the deeper slower, pool in the left of the photo. They're eating sporadically off the surface. The rainbows are in the riffle water, in the middle of the river.

Here's the play: The casting spot is the gravel bar, exactly half-way between where Felipe is standing now, and that green mossy clump in the middle of the river (on a straight line between those points).

The fly is a size #16 black beetle. A single dry fly. (It's too bright for mayflies, and we don't see any naturals. A big hopper might be too gaudy for water this shallow, slow, and clear.)

The first cast (a reach cast, where the angler fires toward the bank, then moves the rod tip upstream to create a mend in the air, before the fly lands) was made from a crouch position. The first targets were those browns. Fortunately, a nice 16-incher ate the first drift within a few seconds after the fly hit the water. To land the fish, Felipe applied side pressure with the rod horizontal to the water, and skated it to his position.  He never stands up.

The next cast is angled more upstream, straight into the riffle.  And sure enough, he does catch a smaller rainbow on the same fly.  That one took two drifts. But here's the kicker: after releasing the brown trout, he pauses and waits 10 minutes before even thinking about casting to the bows.

The lesson: Slow and low is the the way to go when casting at rising trout in low, clear water. If Felipe were to have made even one cast from where you see him in this shot, I am certain he would not have hooked either fish.

Comments (9)

Top Rated
All Comments
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Just off the top of my head..probably best to sight fish, and nymph fish for those fish from above like the angler in the picture. More productive I would say than trying to get them to come up for a dry. Your leader tippet becomes less of a problem, and they are more than likely to feed on a nymph presented right in their path.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

I see this scenario all to often in Ohio. That is why I can often be found smoking a cigar on the river. Nothing else to do while waiting out the fish.

What is the length of the leader/tippet combo?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

clinch... it's Argentina "fergodsakes." (buckhunter will get that.) I didn't fly 14 hours to throw nymphs. But you are right... in the typical U.S. situation, sight-nymphing is a solid choice. And buck, we were using 9-foot 4X leaders with about 3 feet of 5X mono tippet to the dry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Argentina. They don't fish nymphs? And the wind can howl in Argintina. I'd think that situation would make dry fly fishing very tough with the wind howling. But I see the wind isn't blowing in that picture.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

And I can't put that entire Argentine area into perspective. That is a long N to S country. When I see video of fishing there the wind is always howling. I wouldn't invest in the time, and expense to put up with it. But am I thinking of the area that may be another country even, or a province of Argintina? Tierra del Feugo?(Sp?) There is a section, I do believe, in the southern part of Argintina that some major rivers dump into the Pacific that I think I am thinking of?..terrible memory. And this area they fish for Atlantics, and sea-run browns in several big rivers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sinjin Eberle wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Wow! I get my very own See This, Do That! I feel so special!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

And having now studied that photo the angler is fishing the wrong side of the river! There is a "biter" on that other side in that shaded spot under that big shade tree!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Here's another observation given that situation that Deeter says protocal demands you fish dry flies....A spotter down below that sees the fish, is hidden from the fishes view, and communicates to you your dry fly drift in relation to where the fish lies. The two man team effort like they often do in New Zealand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from kirkdeeter wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

clinch... it's Argentina "fergodsakes." (buckhunter will get that.) I didn't fly 14 hours to throw nymphs. But you are right... in the typical U.S. situation, sight-nymphing is a solid choice. And buck, we were using 9-foot 4X leaders with about 3 feet of 5X mono tippet to the dry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Just off the top of my head..probably best to sight fish, and nymph fish for those fish from above like the angler in the picture. More productive I would say than trying to get them to come up for a dry. Your leader tippet becomes less of a problem, and they are more than likely to feed on a nymph presented right in their path.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

I see this scenario all to often in Ohio. That is why I can often be found smoking a cigar on the river. Nothing else to do while waiting out the fish.

What is the length of the leader/tippet combo?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Argentina. They don't fish nymphs? And the wind can howl in Argintina. I'd think that situation would make dry fly fishing very tough with the wind howling. But I see the wind isn't blowing in that picture.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

And I can't put that entire Argentine area into perspective. That is a long N to S country. When I see video of fishing there the wind is always howling. I wouldn't invest in the time, and expense to put up with it. But am I thinking of the area that may be another country even, or a province of Argintina? Tierra del Feugo?(Sp?) There is a section, I do believe, in the southern part of Argintina that some major rivers dump into the Pacific that I think I am thinking of?..terrible memory. And this area they fish for Atlantics, and sea-run browns in several big rivers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sinjin Eberle wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Wow! I get my very own See This, Do That! I feel so special!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

And having now studied that photo the angler is fishing the wrong side of the river! There is a "biter" on that other side in that shaded spot under that big shade tree!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Here's another observation given that situation that Deeter says protocal demands you fish dry flies....A spotter down below that sees the fish, is hidden from the fishes view, and communicates to you your dry fly drift in relation to where the fish lies. The two man team effort like they often do in New Zealand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs