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Any technique for catching trout in fast riffles of rivers

Re: Any technique for catching trout in fast riffles of rive

Postby 257ROBT » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:00 am

Kid Riemer wrote:Last year was my first fishing for trout, and also my first year of tenkara fishing. Probably half in not more of the fish I caught were in the riffles on the Rush River in Wisconsin. Very shallow ones at that...a couple or three inches...sometimes less. Hard to tell the water depth because the water is really moving sometimes.

Sometimes I would see a fish ahead of time, but most of the time I just cast above the riffle and then dead drifted the fly down down through the riffle. I'd try to place the fly in different starting spots so I'd stand a better chance of running all the lanes eventually. I'd also try to keep the rod tip high to keep the line out of the water and just let the fly dance its way through.

Generally they were smaller fish but the strikes were always strongly felt. BAM!

My best success was using a Pink Squirrel...size 16 generally.

I'd suggest that you really give the riffles a shot. I think you'll find it worth your time.

The Pink Squirrel rocks! It is the only beadhead nymph I carry. I do very well with it here in central WI. I usually use a size 14 and fish it pretty much the same way you do. I tie my own and started blending hairs like John Bethke does, and it fishes even better.

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Re: Any technique for catching trout in fast riffles of rive

Postby pechelman » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:10 pm

someone recently called me Mr. Riffle that I love fishing them so much.

I really thinking fishing riffles gives you a huge advantage.
Fish in riffles are by definition feeding fish. No fish is just going to hang out in a riffle and fight the current.
Fish here are by definition less selective since the water is moving fast. Makes fly selection less important in my experience, especially when compared to slow moving\still water pools.
The broken\choppy\loud white water really hides you from the fish making stealth a little less important.
Last, but certainly not least, the faster water currents here allow you to actively keep a tight line through the entire drift. Since you cant rely as much on sight to see the strike, you'll have to feel it.

My technique is very simple, and a lot like czech nymphing. I think there's a lot one can learn from czech nymphing and applying that to tenkara that if you've never tried it, I say its worth giving it a shot for a few outings.

Essentially, cast to the head of the riffle and slightly before everything unravels at the end of your cast, start your drift by matching the water speed with the rod tip. Keep a tight line through the whole process and keep the tip of your line either barely on the water or just off of it. I find I have better luck when it almost feels as if I'm dragging the flies downstream and the tip of my level lines is ~2-4" above the water.

Then from there, thats it.
With the aggressive leading of your flies, tight lines, aggressive fish fighting the current, the hook will basically set itself. Basically just continue the drift when you feel something, because if you actively set the hook, you'll usually pull it out of the fish's mouth since you're keeping such an actively tight line.

I do seem to have most luck in riffles with larger flies that have some weight\substance.
Say a #10 black body\brown hackle kebari, #12 heavy weighted killer bug, or even, gasp, an ~8mm egg pattern when the season is right. On occasion they'll ignore all of these large flies and go after flashy\bright midges. (#18 jujumidge tied with midge flash for the legs\wingcase has been a favorite)

Also, generally speaking, you'll catch more rainbows in riffles than you will browns. At least around here.
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Re: Any technique for catching trout in fast riffles of rive

Postby SamEureka » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:05 am

In my opinion Tenkara is hands down the best method for fishing riffles! There is also some satisfaction in pulling a mess of trout out of the water that every other angler walked right by! I am often surprised at the size of fish I've pulled out of even the shallowest of riffles. I'm a fan of both the riffle and the deep chute.

I like to cast an attractor wet fly like a McGinty in to both riffles and chutes. In the riffles I just cast into the spots that look like they have eddies for the fish to hold in. I've observed rainbows holding their nose to the back of a rock and popping up to eat. To fish chutes, I cast the fly above the center of the chute and then both sides of the frothy bits. The deeper your fly gets in the chute the better! Another cool thing about chutes and riffles is that with all the activity in that environment you are less likely to spook the other fish holding near when you hook up. I've pulled up to six fish all holding in the same chute!! Ah... I love fishing!

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