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. ( Log Out /  The things that you care so much about are going to go into Read the time. Trout will slide into the riffles to consume the bugs that are releasing from the river bottom. 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. The solution: Get stuck against a rock, and the best bet is to lean downstream. In order to locate smallmouth bass and effectively catch them, you must first understand current and its intricacies. The slope forces the water to pick up speed as it flows over the top. 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. Wherever there is current, in a river or the ocean, fish will seek places where they can hold in slower water, while allowing faster currents to deliver food to them. Boats. Current is usually slower along the inside bend of a river, faster along the outside bend. Water flows downhill. The secret to consistently catching smallmouth from rivers is being comfortable fishing in current. This includes learning how to read a river, understanding the influence of current on smallmouth location and being able to effectively fish flowing water. Hit it at the wrong angle and risk capsizing. 4-8oz flat sinkers are the way to go when fishing heavy current/ river banks for catfish. Time the Weather. It takes specific supplies and talent to be able to fish in a river - this article will show you how. Moving water creates a conveyor belt of food, washing everything downstream to the fish without them having to travel for it. How to Fish the Tides. You will find an explanation of what to … MidCurrent: Learn how to fly fish from the source! To start to understand reading a river, we need to understand a bit about fish behavior. In general, trout will only hold along the banks during periods with low light, hatch activity and during runoff. The second scenario is when water temperatures rise above 50 degrees. The deeper water columns of a run will offer slower currents, which makes for an ideal resting location. Dam, Spillway and Weir Hydraulics. As tide times can vary depending on the spot you are fishing, it’s safest to check real-time data on currents and tides for the selected dates. Rivers are home to some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the planet. To keep it simple, afternoons during late spring, summer and early fall, is generally the best time to target riffles. Paddling against the current is slower and requires more energy. The current’s intensity determines which areas of the river you should fish. 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. Here is a glossary of the most common hazards one may encounter on river systems across the country: CURRENT – Ever present flow of the water - from timid to turbulent –where volume, channel width and gradient (see definition below) all affect the characteristics of a river. Like trout in mountain streams, bass also use rocks, holes, logs or other irregularities to break current and conserve energy. Each bend in a river creates an area with a tighter radius, places where the current folds around objects. Trout are concerned about one thing, survival, and their survival relies upon their ability to avoid predators, conserve energy and consume food. Source: http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?566. Water movement exposes reefs, scours out drop offs, forms sand bars, isolates islands and opens or closes river mouths or inlets. When fishing this structure and others, remember to focus on the edges to increase your catches of speckled trout and redfish. Boats. The feature: Water comes off a steep angle and recirculates, making it look as if it’s piling back on itself. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Noting these factors can be helpful if you aren’t sure where else to look – or if you think that barometric pressure isn’t the cause of your fishing troubles. An ideal position is in a current break (slack water) immediately alongside the swift current. Keep an eye on water levels and learn to determine what is high and low for your target river. I recall many years ago fishing the Cardinal River for cutthroat trout with the publisher of the annual Alberta Fishing Guide, Barry Mitchell. Like trout in mountain streams, bass also use rocks, holes, logs or other irregularities to break current and conserve energy. 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. Run: Runs are formed below a riffle. The same thing happens when a cluster of rocks or stand of trees breaks the velocity. The beginning and ending of rapids are classic examples of good fishing spots, where the river goes from deep to shallow through the rapids, then returns to deep in the next pool. However if river levels are low, you’ll be hard pressed to find the fish here. All fish, whether they be bass, trout, perch or bluegill, need the same three things. 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. Current Trumps Everything Else. To become a fine canoeist in moving water, you must first learn how to use the river's energy to help propel your craft. Read on to learn a few important pieces of information that will help you to unravel the basics of estuary fishing. To catch river bass you'll need to understand their nature and know how to read the water you're fishing. When fishing backwaters, look for something different along the bank that will attract bass. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The time may be listed using a 24 hour clock, also known as military time. Itiwit helps you read sea and river flows. 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. To read a military clock, remember that the numbers continue onward from noon. Be certain that you have distinguished properly between morning and evening tide times. Fish are strong swimmers, but don’t want to be swimming against a current all day, or they would have to use a ton of energy which means they have to eat more. Pockets: Pockets are formed by large rocks, logs or other obstructions that protrude above the surface of the river. These areas might be merging currents, drop-offs, feeder springs, or any place where the current slows and food sources can collect. Knowing how to read a tide chart helps you choose the best time to go fishing. 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. 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. RIVER FISHING TECHNIQUES. As tide times can vary depending on the spot you are fishing, it’s safest to check real-time data on currents and tides for the selected dates. Depending on location, high and low tides may occur twice in a day or only once. How to Rig a Flying Fish for Kite Fishing. In current, it’s important to first motor well upstream of your intended final location. CALM AREAS OR EDDIES. The water temperature was maybe 39 degrees. Keep safe, stay focused and be aware. You will find an explanation of what to look for as well as a photo to provide a visual. Fish that live in rivers, such as sturgeon, bass, carp, catfish, etc., need … ( Log Out /  A good riffle will fulfill all of the basic needs of a trout. Here are a few things to look out for to keep you safe while on the river. 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Read More 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. I'm not even sure I perfectly understand what these terms mean. 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. For boaters, too much or too little flow can affect the runnability as well as the difficulty posed by a river. 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). Updated: September 12, 2019. Pockets are often overlooked by anglers, but we encourage you to show them some love. After we become more familiar, by learning about the features which contribute to currents, including downstream Vs, waves, rocks, eddies, eddy lines and hydraulics, we begin to make sense of rivers. Not unlike when fishing big water really, but not exactly the same either. When it comes to targeting large catfish, there’s nothing like fishing fast-moving rivers. Based on these three factors, we will discuss the primary sections of a river where trout hold. Good Luck Fishing and Feel Free to Subscribe! 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. Keep safe, stay focused and be aware. Read The Current. Because a water molecule cannot be crushed, paddling through froth has less of an effect. Due to the velocity of the water and having less time to identify an artificial fly, trout are not as selective and will feed more aggressively. The feature: An upstream-pointing “V” indicates a submerged object, most often a rock. Absent a hatch, getting your flies deep will be the best way to find fish in a pool. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Whenever I go fishing in a smaller river, I try to find spots, where the river is deeper and has a slower stream – as pike are somewhat lazy and don’t want to waste extra energy fighting the current. It takes little time to check tide tables online or on a … To read a military clock, remember that the numbers continue onward from noon. Typically if the river is blown out steelhead will move over into the slower shallow water along the shore line. Banks & Outer Seams: Outer seams are formed when the faster current of a riffle or run meets slow water along a bank. Use tides, currents and water movement to your advantage. Letting the current do the work is among the perks of paddling down a river. When fishing in rivers and stream system, the current dictates everything. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. If the current on the main river is too strong, concentrate on backwater areas where the flow is reduced. Tailout: A tailout refers to the bottom section of a pool where the current converges and creates a narrower seam. Combining the two is a great way to enjoy a day on the river. Frequently adjusting your depth in these sections will help you locate feeding trout. A tailout is a great section to focus on when fishing dries and is equally productive when nymphing with emerger patterns. Source: http://www.sctimes.com/story/life/outdoors/2014/08/30/reading-river-instructor-says-know-paddler-experience-water/14807337/. Riffle: A riffle can be categorized as a rocky and shallow section of a river. But if you’re looking to catch a monster, there are a few things you need to know. Here are a few things to look out for to keep you safe while on the river. So fish will want to hangout where the water isn’t constantly flowing, and this … The feature: From the rock island a stone’s throw from the St. Because the current is what brings food to all fish species in a river system, they always hold with their noses facing up current. 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. ( Log Out /  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. Common Natural River Hazards. In virtually all cases, a river’s current dictates a fish’s behavior, more so than any lake or pond. The illustration at right above depicts where bass will hold then dash out to feed on food flowing by. For the ocean, tidal currents are caused by tides, wind, changes in temperature and salinity or some combination. The danger: Hit that submerged rock sideways, and a boat might flip. This is because it is not easy knowing how to read a river for fishing. The danger: Underwater, it’s like being in a front-loading washing machine. STUMPS AND VEGETATION This is most apparent in the slow water. Give the arms a rest. Reading River Currents The following are some of the main features that you will encounter while on the river. 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. It’s indicated by a parting of the current. This is an important step for yourself because it will make your troubles go away and keep you from wasting your time. Knowing this, there are two scenarios when fishing riffles is ideal. New Boats at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show . While trout hold in pools year-round, they are ideal during sunny conditions and periods with low water temperature. Eddies are important to those of us who enjoy river bass fishing. The solution: Be alert and aim to avoid. If you’re resourceful, some cattail duff or milkweed seeds also make perfect wind detection tools. The shallow, highly oxygenated water is a perfect environment for the aquatic insects trout eat. Step 1, Get a good quality fishing pole. Make sure you know what kind of … I have found that the best time of the day for river pike fishing is usually either during sunrise or sunset. This creates a more natural situation and allows fish to get the best look at your presentation. The feature: What appears as a silk-smooth pillow rising from the river is really water sheeting over a rock just under the surface. 2. It’s better to bail out than to get trapped underneath. Water moves away from the obstruction at a 45-degree angle, leaving a downstream scour that gives fish a place to feed and rest. Let’s look at three specific angling situations to see how reading the water can help you plan your angling approach. Cast upstream and allow your lure or fly to drift down toward calm areas or eddies. Add extra-large hooks and bait into the equation, and you need stout gear to manage rigs. In today’s video tip from the Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center, Tom and guide Molly Semenik discuss basic mending. How To. All those factors still apply to river fishing but none of them compare to the influence the current has. Therefore, it’s hugely important to fish in current by casting upstream and retrieving your bait with the current. "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. The time may be listed using a 24 hour clock, also known as military time. They are supposed to be able to make magic predictions by translating the fingerprints of surface currents into signs that point directly to trout. The solution: “When you go through a wave, you’re just going to ride it out,” canoeing instructor Ivan Bartha said. Pools are “home base” during winter and early spring but also offer trout a low stress environment when they need to conserve energy. Just like a sailboat using wind to move forward, a canoe uses current. The constantly moving water not only affects your fishing techniques but determines where fish can be caught. Banks offer slower currents due to obstructions along the bank breaking up the river current. Riffles form when there is a drop in elevation and are concentrated with small/medium sized rocks. The feature: An overhanging tree, while excellent for fish habitat, has the potential to catch and hold paddlers who become pushed against the obstruction. The benefit: Faced with a series of waves and holes, it’s best to navigate through the waves. Boat Control Systems: Joysticks, Thrusters and More. Rivers are home to some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the planet. On the Mississippi, eddies also are good places to catch walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and channel catfish. This includes learning how to read a river, understanding the influence of current on smallmouth location and being able to effectively fish flowing water. The solution: Go through a hole, and you’ll need all the momentum you can muster. The sailboat has a centerboard and sail to accomplish this; the canoe uses a … I’ve found this line type to be perfect for fishing rivers like Montana’s Madison River, where currents are anything but uniform. By Bob Mcnally. When fishing rivers, or streams it is good to understand what an eddy is. 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 list of river hazards is quite extensive. Generally Safe vs Dangerous Rapid Passage. Water has to be cold and oxygenated, and if you really want to catch a big one, try using different lures, like … The secret to consistently catching smallmouth from rivers is being comfortable fishing in current. Different people have different ways on how to read a river for fly fishing. For a spinning rod, we recommend an ultra-light rod around 6 to 6.5 feet in length. The waves have a shallower angle and don’t recirculate as much. To get out, paddle harder on the downstream side. 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. Get into the flow. High currents aren’t good for fishing and can be dangerous. Knowing how to read a tide chart helps you choose the best time to go fishing. Manmade & Natural Features Affecting River Currents. The first scenario is leading up to or during a hatch. The process of analyzing a river is known as “reading a river”. Look for trout to hold along the inside seams behind the rock, in the converged seam below the pocket and directly above the rock. Fly Fishing Gear. But try to avoid dead-water areas where there is no current. #1 Keep abreast of water movements and Identify them from your kayak In kayaking, there’s an important rule to keep in mind: if river currents always carry you in the same direction, sea currents change according to the tides. So, in order to consume more oxygen, trout will hold in faster moving sections of the river, such as riffles, where oxygen levels are higher. Fishing Tide Tables. Skilled paddlers may use the increased velocity on either side of the rock to their advantage, picking up a bit of speed. ( Log Out /  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. “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. 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. From here they have an easier time migrating upstream. Because the seam separates a faster moving section from a slow section, it offers trout the ability to hold along the slow side of the seam and slide into the faster current to consume food. 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. How does the current seam travel below the surface, say on the bottom of the river, when you see the current seam on top of the water. Also current is faster on the surface due to less friction than along the bottom of the channel. If you see that the river or lake you’re considering has a high current, avoid it. Latest. The only way to get good at it is to practice on the water, dealing with currents of different speeds. Fishing for catfish in fast-moving currents can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that can produce huge results. Find the backwaters. Use these basic river fishing tips to help you locate fish in different areas of a river. Simon also explains how to identify the water where the bigger fish are more likely to lie, and avoid the small fish. Cloud shore is an extended series of alternating waves and holes. Here you will find a few tips into reading and understanding water currents and also potential hazards to watch for. The following are some of the main features that you will encounter while on the river. Tips, techniques, videos, art, photography, gear, books, and expert advice for fresh and saltwater fly Read our full guide on the best spinning rods for trout. "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. Heavy weight and quick casts will be necessary to successfully fish the pockets. Deep water and sometimes-strong currents commonly call for heavy sinkers. Fish face into the current. 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. Bugs that aren’t consumed in the riffles will flow through the run and provide trout with a consistent food source. If you’re new to fishing it’s important to understand how length affects the performance of the rod. Overhead View of Typical River Hazards. Slow currents make for easier drifts, but due to the decreased water velocity and food options, trout are more selective and difficult to fool. Bass will target baitfish, cra… The danger: Hit it, and risk damaging canoe or kayak. Reading the water is often spoken about as if it’s some kind of voodoo that only grizzled old men who smoke pipes and have many patches on their waders understand. In a run, trout have the ability to hold at varying depths of the river to conserve energy and feed. You can identify riffles by looking for significant surface disturbance or “choppy water”. Choose a good size for the fishing pole, such as is 8 feet (1.5 meters).Step 2, Choose good bait to take for the fish you're looking to catch. When you get to a river, it can be a little overwhelming of where to even start. JOIN THE CLUB, get unlimited access for $2.99/month That’s a big blunder: Don’t expect positive results at your favorite flat during the wrong tidal stage. Be certain that you have distinguished properly between morning and evening tide times. While the drop is only about 2 feet, the resulting recirculating hole can trap a boat and drown its occupant. 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. To catch a trout in a river you will have to find a location where trouts congregate. 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. 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. For instance, lunar phases, water currents, tides, and wind direction can all help you predict where fish are found. As with all bass, river smallies and spotted bass gravitate towards three comforts that make bass habitat home, shelter , … Gear. 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. 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 Even if it doesn't look like that's what they're doing, … The current’s intensity determines which areas of the river you should fish. Specific supplies and how to read river currents for fishing to be able to fish in that river, we want to share basic information how., more so than any lake or pond risk capsizing understand what these terms mean, harder. 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