Photograph by Steve Barnett

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Fish in the Eddies - a Tactic for Dirty Water

After rain or snow melt that has been sufficient to cause run off to get into the river the water goes the colour of oxtail soup and the fish get out of the main currents into places where they can shelter.  Even in such conditions fish do feed.  Today it was possible to see fish eating some very tiny reed smuts that drifted over the trouts' hidey holes, proving that there is not a lot wrong with trouts' eyesights.

There were also some olives drifting along on the surface and these were being carried on the seams of the currents.  Where the seam of current passes a protruding feature like the base of a tree or a croy or groin the result is an eddy.  The seam of quicker water turns the slower water round and round forming the eddy that behaves like a wheel being spun round.  In this picture below a trout had chosen a fantastic place to hold station away from the main current, which is flowing from left to right just here and mop up the olives as they drift upriver on the surface right in the edge carried in the eddy.  The fish is facing downriver into the direction of the current in this eddy, which in this case is flowing from right to left...

The best place for the angler to hide and make his cast here would be upriver facing downstream but actually upcurrent.  The branches and twigs of those two alder saplings will present the angler with a problem casting.  That's bad enough but the most difficult part of the approach here is to do so without being seen.  Another aspect that works against the angler here is that with the fish rising so near to the bank it would be easy to miss that they are actually there.

To have the best chance here, those three principles of: fishing where the fish are; being observant and; being stealthy must all be adhered to with alacrity!

Here's another eddy from today.  The discoloured water is flowing from left to right over on the opposite bank and, when the current hits our bank on the right, most of the water is turned to the downriver side.  However, the rest of the water gets turned along the upstream edge of this bank and so starts a "big wheel keeps on turning" eddy.  Right in the near side here the fish were rising to flies being carried upriver, another fine opportunity for the dry fly angler, even though first glance at the water would have a lot of people giving up and going home before they started.

Being observant, particularly in the edges of eddies, gives you chance to find and fish where the fish are.  All you have to remember whilst doing this is to be as stealthy as you can be.  It's a lot better than going home without giving yourself a chance of having at least some Sport...

Regular Rod

1 comment:

  1. "The color of oxtail soup"...That I like.

    Good info there.