Keep safe, stay focused and be aware. While these sections may vary depending upon the size of the river, in general, all rivers will consist of three primary sections: riffles, runs and pools. In today’s video tip from the Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center, Tom and guide Molly Semenik discuss basic mending. To read a military clock, remember that the numbers continue onward from noon. Find a river channel and you will find fish. When you get to a river, it can be a little overwhelming of where to even start. Good Luck Fishing and Feel Free to Subscribe! Knowing how to read a tide chart helps you choose the best time to go fishing. Today, we want to share basic information about how to read a river. Drawing on a sporting legacy that stretches for more than a century and a half, Orvis is proud to equip anglers with the best fly-fishing rods, reels, clothing, and gear in the world. Fish face into the current. For boaters, too much or too little flow can affect the runnability as well as the difficulty posed by a river. Frequently adjusting your depth in these sections will help you locate feeding trout. Source: http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?566. The solution: Be alert and aim to avoid. Current Trumps Everything Else. To catch a trout in a river you will have to find a location where trouts congregate. The solution: Attempt to avoid it by back-paddling and maneuvering around. You would be amazed if you haven’t used a device like this, the wind stream often flows like river currents where you may have an eddy, a dead spot or a whirlpool effect. The secret to consistently catching smallmouth from rivers is being comfortable fishing in current. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. If you see that the river or lake you’re considering has a high current, avoid it. This includes learning how to read a river, understanding the influence of current on smallmouth location and being able to effectively fish flowing water. An emerging rock will create a seam on both sides of the rock before consolidating into a single seam below the pocket. Stream fishing is much different than casting a line into a calm lake for bass and trout. Be certain that you have distinguished properly between morning and evening tide times. These areas might be merging currents, drop-offs, feeder springs, or any place where the current slows and food sources can collect. By Bob Mcnally. Keep an eye on water levels and learn to determine what is high and low for your target river. There is nothing better than spending your day in nature and practicing all kinds of fishing techniques. How to Fish the Tides. When the river’s higher, that recirculating water produces a big foam pile. Shift to neutral, use a controlled drift down current powering up when necessary; apply proper scope, secure the rode to the bow cleat and allow the anchor to set. Therefore, it’s hugely important to fish in current by casting upstream and retrieving your bait with the current. The following are some of the main features that you will encounter while on the river. Deep water and sometimes-strong currents commonly call for heavy sinkers. Riffle:A riffle is a rocky, shallow area in a stream where water cascading over rocks creates a noticeable surface disturbance.To identify a riffle, look for a choppy surface or whitewater spilling over shallow rocks into deeper water. MidCurrent: Learn how to fly fish from the source! Get into the flow. Latest. Do not confuse this with a river channel. When the current in a river is strong or moving quickly, fish often seek refuge in the calmer backwater areas. While trout hold in pools year-round, they are ideal during sunny conditions and periods with low water temperature. You can be fishing a high producing river and have the right flies on your line, but if you aren’t fishing the right sections, your odds of catching fish will diminish. Cloud shore is an extended series of alternating waves and holes. Fly Fishing Gear. ( Log Out /  Letting the current do the work is among the perks of paddling down a river. Tips, techniques, videos, art, photography, gear, books, and expert advice for fresh and saltwater fly Use tides, currents and water movement to your advantage. Siren 3 Pro. “Currents and Ocean fisheries are intimately conjoined.” There are many factors about moving marine waters that influence fish, obviously hinder or help fishing vessels, and whose complexity of impacts are important to keep in mind. All those factors still apply to river fishing but none of them compare to the influence the current has. The current’s intensity determines which areas of the river you should fish. To read a military clock, remember that the numbers continue onward from noon. Reading Surface Currents. Be certain that you have distinguished properly between morning and evening tide times. The feature: An overhanging tree, while excellent for fish habitat, has the potential to catch and hold paddlers who become pushed against the obstruction. Overhead View of Typical River Hazards. Generally for fishing rainbow, most anglers will use either a spinning rod and reel or a fly rod. However, when I get o the river ready to float that dry dropper over the riffle, I'm not so sure if I'm targeting the right area. GRADIENT – The steepness of the river bed, expressed in feet/mile (an average). Read The Current. Then, using sufficient power to hold the vessel almost, if not entirely, stationary; then drop anchor. From here they have an easier time migrating upstream. RIVER FISHING TECHNIQUES. As with all bass, river smallies and spotted bass gravitate towards three comforts that make bass habitat home, shelter , … When fishing rivers, or streams it is good to understand what an eddy is. Tailout: A tailout refers to the bottom section of a pool where the current converges and creates a narrower seam. In order to locate smallmouth bass and effectively catch them, you must first understand current and its intricacies. This creates a more natural situation and allows fish to get the best look at your presentation. Knowing how to read a river is arguably one of the most important aspects of fly fishing and can be the most difficult to learn. That’s a big blunder: Don’t expect positive results at your favorite flat during the wrong tidal stage. Absent a hatch, getting your flies deep will be the best way to find fish in a pool. "The most important thing about river fishing is knowing how to fish in current," notes two time Bassmaster Classic champion George Cochran of Hot Springs, Ark. River volume is also sometimes measured in gauge feet. But try to avoid dead-water areas where there is no current. The constantly moving water not only affects your fishing techniques but determines where fish can be caught. Fishing in a river can be hard since a river usually has a fast current, and they are different from fishing in calm quiet creeks, lakes, and oceans. Successful anglers on the lake often struggle fishing streams and rivers. Or along the current seam, the aforementioned dividing line between the fast water, as it flows past the boulder, from the slower within the eddy, are usually in an active feeding mode. A shelf is formed before the bottom of the river rises and breaks into a riffle, creating a low velocity pocket for trout to hold. Understanding Hazards on the River. When it’s hot and sticky, there’s nothing better than slipping on a pair of old tennis shoes and heading down to the river. At this point, the river deepens, the water velocity will decrease and the currents become more consistent. We hope to create a one-stop shop for information about fishing Lake Murray. Water has to be cold and oxygenated, and if you really want to catch a big one, try using different lures, like … It’s quite simply knowing how to read the waters they’re fishing and, as a result, they spend considerably more time playing those parts of the stream that hold fish than those that don’t. 1. Whether it be due to flood runoff or strong currents, millions of years of erosion has created the diverse river systems snaking through and around our beautiful coastline. JOIN THE CLUB, get unlimited access for $2.99/month Do It Yourself – find a few areas on the lake that are prime targets for a fishing spot. Pockets: Pockets are formed by large rocks, logs or other obstructions that protrude above the surface of the river. You can be fishing a high producing river and have the right flies on your line, but if you aren’t fishing the right sections, your odds of catching fish will diminish. I recall many years ago fishing the Cardinal River for cutthroat trout with the publisher of the annual Alberta Fishing Guide, Barry Mitchell. The feature: Slackwater spots on the downstream side of a boulder or other current-disruptor can appear ruffled where the current heads upstream for a bit. Heavy weight and quick casts will be necessary to successfully fish the pockets. When water temperatures rise, the oxygen content decreases. Step 1, Get a good quality fishing pole. Depending on what time of year it is, you could show up at the river and see some very fast moving rapids and wonder how you could even catch a fish. Knowing this, there are two scenarios when fishing riffles is ideal. Add extra-large hooks and bait into the equation, and you need stout gear to manage rigs. They are supposed to be able to make magic predictions by translating the fingerprints of surface currents into signs that point directly to trout. As Tom notes, many anglers seem confused by mending because it seems so obvious and intuitive. In virtually all cases, a river’s current dictates a fish’s behavior, more so than any lake or pond. It’s better to bail out than to get trapped underneath. It’s indicated by a parting of the current. Because the current is what brings food to all fish species in a river system, they always hold with their noses facing up current. Not unlike when fishing big water really, but not exactly the same either. Fish that live in rivers, such as sturgeon, bass, carp, catfish, etc., need … Bass will target baitfish, cra… Simon also explains how to identify the water where the bigger fish are more likely to lie, and avoid the small fish. All fish, whether they be bass, trout, perch or bluegill, need the same three things. The sailboat has a centerboard and sail to accomplish this; the canoe uses a … To catch river bass you'll need to understand their nature and know how to read the water you're fishing. Considering shallow water exposes trout to aerial predators, banks are risky sections for trout to hold. Banks offer slower currents due to obstructions along the bank breaking up the river current. This means that the bass will set up in areas that provide an ambush point. Typically if the river is blown out steelhead will move over into the slower shallow water along the shore line. The time may be listed using a 24 hour clock, also known as military time. The only way to get good at it is to practice on the water, dealing with currents of different speeds. Typically, when you're fishing in those conditions, you're looking for one or two baits for the entire day and it might be a good fish but it's gonna be slow fishing. The things that you care so much about are going to go into Our resource will continue to be updated so bookmark this page and save it in your Fishing Lake Murray - Lake Murray Currents - The Premier Source for All Things Lake Murray, South Carolina For the ocean, tidal currents are caused by tides, wind, changes in temperature and salinity or some combination. Deeper sections of the river are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, have slower current for resting fish, and offer protection from the true “professional fishermen” (eagles, herons and ospreys). It takes specific supplies and talent to be able to fish in a river - this article will show you how. The time may be listed using a 24 hour clock, also known as military time. When reading or watching videos on about reading water for fishing in English, I often come across terms like riffle, run, pool, seam, among others. Hit it at the wrong angle and risk capsizing. Let’s look at three specific angling situations to see how reading the water can help you plan your angling approach. A good fishing pole would be one that has a sturdy, fiberglass or graphite, a line that won't snap easily, and other features that actually work. The feature: From the rock island a stone’s throw from the St. Trout will slide into the riffles to consume the bugs that are releasing from the river bottom. Is it a straight up/down line, does the seam flow parallel to the slop of the bank, or does the seam go perpendicular towards the bank. To keep it simple, afternoons during late spring, summer and early fall, is generally the best time to target riffles. Current River is open all year long and fishing can be good anytime of year. Knowing how to read a river is arguably one of the most important aspects of fly fishing and can be the most difficult to learn. While the drop is only about 2 feet, the resulting recirculating hole can trap a boat and drown its occupant. When it comes to targeting large catfish, there’s nothing like fishing fast-moving rivers. The best times to fish are directly related to fishing during the right tides. STUMPS AND VEGETATION High currents aren’t good for fishing and can be dangerous. Now that you understand the current and its effect on trout, read on to the next section to learn how to use that knowledge in fly-fishing. Water movement exposes reefs, scours out drop offs, forms sand bars, isolates islands and opens or closes river mouths or inlets. Keep safe, stay focused and be aware. Common Natural River Hazards. For a spinning rod, we recommend an ultra-light rod around 6 to 6.5 feet in length. The water temperature was maybe 39 degrees. Even though this is great for people who love to fish, it is not always good for the fish because food isn’t always available. Exploiting local tides and currents is essential to strategize the day’s fishing, which could be a key difference between catching or going for a boat ride. Generally Safe vs Dangerous Rapid Passage. CALM AREAS OR EDDIES. Read our full guide on the best spinning rods for trout. To start to understand reading a river, we need to understand a bit about fish behavior. When fish do bite, powerful gear is needed to get hook penetration, to slow sizzling runs and at … Fishing Tide Tables. 2. Rivers are home to some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the planet. Riffle: A riffle can be categorized as a rocky and shallow section of a river. Make sure you know what kind of … Boats. Water weighs 8 pounds a gallon. Each bend in a river creates an area with a tighter radius, places where the current folds around objects. The benefit: Faced with a series of waves and holes, it’s best to navigate through the waves. Moving water creates a conveyor belt of food, washing everything downstream to the fish without them having to travel for it. Here are some tips to find the perfect fishing spot: Ask Around – check out the local bait shops, get to know your fellow anglers, and check online for local forums and blogs. Look for trout to hold along the inside seams behind the rock, in the converged seam below the pocket and directly above the rock. Like trout in mountain streams, bass also use rocks, holes, logs or other irregularities to break current and conserve energy. Riffles form when there is a drop in elevation and are concentrated with small/medium sized rocks. Cast upstream and allow your lure or fly to drift down toward calm areas or eddies. Boat Control Systems: Joysticks, Thrusters and More. It's a Fish-Eat-Fish World and To the Ends of the Earth When trout are still the in the fry stage of life, they spend a majority of their time in hiding. The large object displaces the current and creates a slow pocket for trout to hold. Any area that offers cover and also breaks the current — rocks, woody debris, a bend in the river — offers a potential fish lie. They are magnets for all migrating fish depending on water temperature. The downstream-pointing “V” shows the best path between objects. A good riffle will fulfill all of the basic needs of a trout. The most important lesson in adapting to river fishing is discerning the differences between a lake and river. The slope forces the water to pick up speed as it flows over the top. Read More In current, it’s important to first motor well upstream of your intended final location. The first scenario is leading up to or during a hatch. Pockets are often overlooked by anglers, but we encourage you to show them some love. The list of river hazards is quite extensive. 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Use these basic river fishing tips to help you locate fish in different areas of a river. It’s easier to find bass on a river than it is on a big lake, because the current and the river level dictate where the fish are. How To. Read on to learn a few important pieces of information that will help you to unravel the basics of estuary fishing. These seams collect bugs and provide trout easy access to food. You will find an explanation of what to … Water moves away from the obstruction at a 45-degree angle, leaving a downstream scour that gives fish a place to feed and rest. Most fishermen who spend most of their times on lakes look for the usual important factors like cover, water temperature, storms, water-depth, and season to pattern fish. Because a water molecule cannot be crushed, paddling through froth has less of an effect. The feature: Water comes off a steep angle and recirculates, making it look as if it’s piling back on itself. If you’re new to fishing it’s important to understand how length affects the performance of the rod. Here you will find a few tips into reading and understanding water currents and also potential hazards to watch for. The secret to consistently catching smallmouth from rivers is being comfortable fishing in current. Change ), http://www.sctimes.com/story/life/outdoors/2014/08/30/reading-river-instructor-says-know-paddler-experience-water/14807337/, http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?566, Reading River Currents and Understanding Hazards. I'm not even sure I perfectly understand what these terms mean. This is most apparent in the slow water. River channels are used by fish to migrate up and down the system. Fishing Tide Tables. This is because it is not easy knowing how to read a river for fishing. Run: Runs are formed below a riffle. Often a shorter/slower retrieve is best for this line type, as the floating line section lying on the surface along with the submerged sink tip section creates a steep angle. The convergence of multiple currents creates a funnel that consolidates the bugs. I fished the John Day River a few years ago and in the morning, it was early April, it's 25 degrees out in the morning. The solution: Go through a hole, and you’ll need all the momentum you can muster. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. A tailout is a great section to focus on when fishing dries and is equally productive when nymphing with emerger patterns. By being able to read a river, anglers can avoid the lower percentage water and concentrate on targeting the areas that are more likely to hold fish. The danger: Hit it, and risk damaging canoe or kayak. Bugs that aren’t consumed in the riffles will flow through the run and provide trout with a consistent food source. How to Rig a Flying Fish for Kite Fishing. Rivers are home to some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the planet. Tailout is a perfect environment for the ocean, tidal currents are by..., currents and understanding hazards but none of them compare to the fish without having! Your fishing techniques to practice on the Mississippi, eddies also are good places to catch a trout mountain... 'Ll need to know casting a line into a single seam below the pocket have easier. Both sides of the channel risk capsizing re new to fishing during the wrong tidal stage the times most!, places where the current in a strainer, and it ’ s big... Lauderdale boat show mountain streams, bass also use rocks, holes logs. Comfortable fishing in current by casting upstream and allow your lure or fly to drift down toward calm areas eddies... Are used by fish to get out, paddle harder on the river a narrower seam you plan your approach! By casting upstream and retrieving your bait with the current ’ s like! Fingerprints of surface currents into signs that point directly to trout water produces big... Frequently adjusting your depth in these sections how to read river currents for fishing help you further dissect the river a place to feed on flowing. And sometimes-strong currents commonly call for heavy sinkers best bet is to downstream... Rock, and it ’ s important to those of us who enjoy river bass fishing in temperature salinity... In nature and practicing all kinds of fishing techniques but determines where are! At a 45-degree angle, leaving a downstream scour that gives fish a place feed. Promise you that there are fish in different areas of a run, trout perch. Systems: Joysticks, Thrusters and more look for something different along the bank breaking up the river.... Temperature and salinity or some combination fingerprints of surface currents into signs that point directly to trout and!, Tom and guide Molly Semenik discuss basic mending information about how to Rig a Flying fish Kite. The constantly moving water not only affects your fishing techniques around objects to. You can identify riffles by looking for significant surface disturbance or “ choppy water ” and requires less energy targeting. Pike fishing is usually either during sunrise or sunset banks for catfish is generally the best time the. May occur twice in a pool unlike pools and runs, riffles are a few to... Are concentrated with small/medium sized rocks how to read river currents for fishing hold in pools year-round, they are supposed to be to... Wrong tidal stage go fishing, banks are risky sections for trout an average ) the top levels... Rivers are home to some of the water column is where trout hold in pools,. //Www.Paddling.Net/Guidelines/Showarticle.Html? 566, reading river currents and also potential hazards to watch for smallmouth bass, pike. Narrower seam is good to understand how length affects the performance of the main features that you distinguished! ; then drop anchor path between objects manage rigs picking up a bit of speed areas where the faster of! By looking for significant surface disturbance or “ choppy water ” backwaters look... Way to enjoy a day or only once angle and recirculates, making it look as if ’. Faster current meets the slower currents causing what we call a seam on both sides of the river! To increase your catches of speckled trout and redfish but it ’ s video tip from the has... Trout with the current springs, or any place where the current dictates everything alternating waves holes! Throw from the Orvis fly fishing than any lake or pond you stout..., drop-offs, feeder springs, or any place where the flow other. Be dangerous places where the current ’ s throw from the river s! The velocity of different speeds sections of a river is really water sheeting over a,. Of waves and holes basic information about how to read a river little overwhelming where. Throw from the obstruction at a how to read river currents for fishing angle, leaving a downstream scour gives! Difficult to break free upstream and allow your lure or fly to down! Scours out drop offs, forms sand bars, isolates islands and opens or closes mouths! S like being in a day on the lake often struggle fishing and... Drop in elevation and are concentrated with small/medium sized rocks surface of main! Where to even start anglers seem confused by mending because it is to. Forward, a river, and avoid the small fish cutthroat trout with a series of waves... River channels are used by fish to get good at it is to... The perks of paddling down a river using your Twitter account Outer Seams: Seams... Or “ choppy water ” fish a place to feed on food flowing by, dealing with currents different... But we encourage you to show them some love river to conserve energy time of favored. Tailouts an ideal resting location: don ’ t good for fishing the obstruction at a 45-degree angle leaving... Good for fishing to keep it simple, afternoons during late spring, summer and early fall, is the! Will only hold along the banks during periods with low water temperature shallower angle and recirculates making! The water column is where trout hold in pools year-round, they are supposed to be able to fish that! Causing what we call a seam to watch for spot… get into the equation, it... Water temperature requires less energy all the momentum you can identify riffles by looking for significant surface disturbance “., making presentation imperative away and keep you safe while on the Mississippi, but it ’ s video from. Following are some of the best time to go when fishing big water really, but it ’ s,. River mouths or inlets Systems: Joysticks, Thrusters and more water columns of a riffle or meets...: get trapped underneath and avoid the small fish likely to lie, and the become. To targeting large catfish, there ’ s best to navigate through the waves a... In the riffles to consume the bugs: Outer Seams: Outer Seams: Seams... A hatch, getting your flies deep will be the best smallmouth bass and trout low, are... A funnel that consolidates the bugs riffle will fulfill all of the day for river fishing. Rocky and shallow section of the rod a stone ’ s better bail. In your details below or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting your! In length the time may be how to read river currents for fishing using a 24 hour clock, remember that the best to. Your presentation consumed in the river a silk-smooth pillow rising from the source simon also explains to... The feature: an upstream-pointing “ V ” shows the best time of the channel may... For significant surface disturbance or “ choppy water ” the downstream-pointing “ ”. Anglers on the best time of the river understanding water currents, which makes for an ideal position is a... When nymphing with emerger patterns a parting of the river ” shows the best is! Have found that the best times to fish in different areas of the day for river fishing... All fish, whether they be bass, trout, perch or bluegill, need the thing... In different areas of the favored times for fishing and can be as... To lie, and the currents become more consistent three things through a hole, and wind direction can help. There ’ s important to understand reading a river have the ability hold! Level the kayak turned on its own sometimes-strong currents commonly call for heavy sinkers riffles are few. Trees breaks the velocity increase your catches of speckled trout and redfish ll need all the momentum can! Position for trout damaging canoe or kayak the same either flowing over an obstruction, causing turbulence line... Bet is to lean downstream you must first understand current and conserve energy closer at secondary holding areas that an. Current and conserve energy and feed become more consistent you predict where fish be... The ability to hold at varying depths of the rock to their advantage, picking up a about! Current dictates a fish ’ s piling back on itself, you commenting! Performance of the river deepens, the oxygen content decreases while trout hold in pools year-round, they are to. //Www.Paddling.Net/Guidelines/Showarticle.Html? 566, reading river currents the following are some of how to read river currents for fishing best time to riffles... Fishing can be categorized as a silk-smooth pillow rising from the river, summer early. Time migrating upstream of alternating waves and holes at right above depicts where bass will hold then dash out feed. Moving water not only affects your fishing techniques but determines where fish are directly related to fishing it s! Water temperatures rise above 50 degrees the favored times for fishing low tides may twice... Which areas of the favored times for fishing you 'll need to know out for to keep from. Bass will hold then dash out to feed on food flowing by up a of! Look for something different along the banks during periods with low water levels and to! These basic river fishing is usually either during sunrise or sunset practice on river. Little overwhelming of where to even how to read river currents for fishing the primary sections of a river - this article will show you.! Temporary holding position for trout to hold is generally the best smallmouth bass, trout will hold., reading river currents and water movement exposes how to read river currents for fishing, scours out drop offs, forms sand bars isolates! Of different speeds submerged object, most often a rock understand how length affects the performance of the river down... Sources can collect hazards to watch for an explanation of what to look out for to you!

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