Beginners guide to reading water

Beginners guide to reading water

A key component to catching trout is to first locate the trout.  One of the most common mistakes I see beginner anglers make is casting aimlessly into the biggest pool they can find and hope something takes their fly.  While they are doing this, the guy 20 yards upstream is killing it.  What’s his secret?  Chances are the run he’s fishing has some good structure creating slack water for the fish to seek shelter while also creating current channels that bring loads of food to these fish.  So how can you find these same honey holes?

  1. Look towards the head of these larger pools.  As the stream transitions from a shallow riffle to a deep pool, there will be an intermediate stage of water called a run.  Look for structure such as large boulders submerged within the run.  These large rocks will provide shelter for the trout so drift your flies to either side of the rock and get ready to set the hook.
  2. On both sides of the main run, you’ll find slower moving slack water.  Trout will often times rest in this calmer water and when the opportunity comes, swims out into the main current to feed.  Finding this seam between the calm water and the swifter current is really important.

Follow these couple tips and I’m confident that you’ll put more fish in the net.