.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Choosing the Right Fly (Fast Water Streams) - Part 9
When you are fishing fast water freestone streams, everything sounds perfect
for using generic, impressionistic or attractor flies. I just finished explaining in
detail the main reasons trout can be fooled into taking attractor flies for real

When the typical angler is fishing the fast water of runs and riffles of freestone
streams, the biggest decision made is usually whether to fish a dry fly on the
surface or a nymph below the surface.  If they don’t get them on one or the
other type of attractor or generic flies, they excuse their performance by
declaring that fishing is poor. When the trout are not feeding in the fast water of
the runs and riffles, they are lost as to how to fish.

Where Trout Feed When There Is No Hatch to Match:
First of all and most importantly, trout don't always feed in the faster moving
water. They often feed near the bottom in slow to moderately moving water.
They sometimes feed in pools. When the water is fairly cold, they almost always
feed in very slow moving water.

In cold water, since most of the faster moving water in freestone streams is near
the surface, the trout choose to position themselves in the lower or bottom
sections of the stream where the water is moving much slower. Many anglers
think they position themselves on or near the bottom to get warmer. Trout are
cold blooded and do not seek warmer water for comfort. They seek the slower
moving water to prevent spending more energy than they can take in from food
in the cold water. Besides, in a fast moving stream, the water temperature
changes little, if any, with the depth of the streams.

For example, larger trout do not feed on Sculpin in fast water. They eat them in
slow to moderately moving water on the bottom either under low light conditions
or from an ambush position. Terrestrial insects, for another example, are eaten
wherever they happen to fall in the water. More often than not, this is near the
banks and often in slow moving water.

Continued tomorrow

Copyright 2009 James Marsh