Friday, May 20, 2011

Why Get Shy When the Waters Get High?

Today, the rivers all over New England are raging.  Many have been stocked, some are still going through natural migrations and even in these high flows it is possible to have a very good day catching fish.

I see this same thing happen all over.  On the Salmon River in New York most anglers will run home if the river hits 1500cfs.   The water goes up real high and everyone thinks the fishing is done.  The posts on local fly fishing forums become full of complaints.

Muddy Waters
So long as the water does not get too muddy, I say get out and learn how to read what is available and close at hand.  The best place for fish to get out of the heavy water is right at your feet close in below large rocks and boulders.  Let's say you are fishing river left, and the flow is a sweeping left turn, these opportunities are even more pronounced.  All rivers are full of these places and all the fish must find them right along with you.  Now, the fish get a head start because a river does not go from low to high in an instant.  As the water starts to rise the fish will start moving close to shore and keep moving to shore searching for safety as the river builds.

Orange Gremlin
If you know there are fish in the river, and you don't want to lose the day, then find the place where the fish will want to be and keep yourself safe on the edges.  The water was in the bushes and a bit off color today, and with the help of the right color flies, I managed to hook five brood stock Atlantic salmon and had at least five more boil on my fly.  All this happened within a rods length from shore.


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