How to approach a new river, when tackling it for the first time ?
By Romain on 17.03.2016 in Fishing techniques
We all seem to get lost a little when we tackle a new river, dries ? nymphs ? streamers ? Which technique will make the fish eat our flies ?
All in all, the internet with forums and social medias dedicated to our sport, can be very helpful. But the main problem remains the same : how to start ?
The first thing I’d suggest is to search for information on the internet. When you’re nice and kind, it won’t take long before a local angler will provide you some precious inside information.
Of course, he’ll probably keep his favorite or secret spots for himself, but it’s a start, and you’ll be able to learn quickly and prepare the next trip.
You’d also consider checking websites which give realtime information on waterlevels of rivers, because it would be sad to drive hundreds of kilometers and discover that the river you planned to fish, is flooded and completely unfishable.
If your flybox is incomplete, fill her up because you never know which fly will work, and being in front of a river with trout in a feeding frenzy on a particular imitation you don’t have with you, is really bad for your blood pressure.
Once you’ve picked a river, and water levels are OK, and your flyboxes can cover any situation, you’re ready to crack the code of this stream.
Once you’re at the riverbank, please resist to this well known urge to wade out to the middle of the river. Make sure you enjoy observing your quarry. Fish will likely stay in their favourite holding spots if no human intruder enters their habitat.
If you enjoy a smoke , this is the right moment to light one. The time you’ll spend enjoying a cigaret or cigar, some feet away from your hotspot, will probably make you discover obvious feeding signs.
When you analyse your stream, try to read those telltale signs where fish could be hiding .
Once you decided where to fish, you’ll only have to find out which technique you should use. If fish are rising , it’s quite a visual matter, you must find out what fly is hatching. And then match the hatch.
If no rises are happening, what to do ? Several options are possible.
Flies are covering the stream :
Try to find out which one is hatching and use a nymph which looks like it. I bet you those fish are feeding on this fly’s nymphal phase. Use a lightly weighted imitation which should imitate it hatching. I can assure you it does work out really well for me.
Another method is to tie on an imitation of the flies present on the water. Fishing the stream blind without targeting rising fish, but covering holding spots, will probably get you into several fish, but mostly smaller ones.
What to do when no flies are showing:
You can try fishing with a general imitation like a sedge or klinkhammer or, do remember a palmer. This technique has proven itself all over the world, and it’s quite seldom a fish refuses before taking your fly from the surface.
If targeting the better fish is your game, streamers are the best bet you’ll get. If you fancy more information on this subject, do check out this article.
Nymph fishing :
I could spend quite some time on this subject itself, covering many aspects on this technique. Perhaps I’ll do so one day whenever time and courage will meet. But , until then, you’ll realize that nymphing is a subject on its’ own.
So , as for this Rodtrip article, I’ll resume how I take it on. Please don’ t take these techniques as a solution to cover any situation, but do know it works out quite often for me.
I usually build up my leader to get a length of triple times my rod length. I don’t really matter about it’s buildup. I just use 7 metres of 28%, join an indicator lenght of fluo nylon, followed by a 1.2 m tippet.
The fluo indicator must be greased, and I use Bristle Grease. Of course it’s not an exact science, because I’ll fish it close in, as well as at distance, in fact I’ll be covering every fish holding spot.
There you’ve got it, without going into particular fishing situations, I dealt with you how I tackle an unknown river. The most important thing however, is whatever technique you use, is to enjoy yourself. So just find out yourself which technique you like most. No matter if you catch fish or not, the most important thing in flyfishing is enjoying yourself.
So, in the end , it really is a personal thing, so above all, go out, and enjoy yourself .