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

Fishing Cold Water - Part Four
In the first three articles on fishing cold water, I pointed out where trout hold and
several problems you face in catching them. In summary they are:

1. Trout seek slow moving water and avoid swift currents when the water is very

2. The slow moving water can be one of these basic three types (a) very shallow
water around the banks, behind boulders, etc.; (b) slow moving water beneath
fast moving water near and on the surface in runs and riffles and (c) slow
moving, deep water in pools.

3. Trout only feed in the slow moving shallow water when there is a lot of
available food there or hatches occurring. It affords little protection from

4. Getting a fly to drift at the same speed a natural larvae or nymph would drift
in slow moving water beneath fast moving water on the surface is not easy to
do. Also, you cannot usually see the trout holding in this type of water, so you
are fishing blind.

5. Catching the trout in the slow moving, clear, deep water of pools isn't easy
because the trout can see you, your line and leader.

8. When you fly is moving slowly the trout have ample time to closely examine it.

9. I will add this: When you are not properly prepared for fishing very cold
water you can be very uncomfortable. It can even be dangerous.

First, let me focus on fishing slow moving water beneath fast water. In most
cases, this is what you are going to have to be able to do to catch trout. As
already mentioned, you will not know exactly where the deeper holes or places
the water is moving slowly are.

One thing you can do is to wear polarized sunglasses that have the right
shaded lens for the light conditions you are fishing under. This will not
necessarily allow you to see trout but the right sunglasses will help you
determine where the deeper pockets and holes are. They will help give you get
a better idea of the areas you need to try to get your fly to drift. Much of the
bottom you cannot see with your naked eye will show up clearly with the
sunglasses. The deeper holes will appear darker. This will eliminate your having
to fish much of the bottom.

There are two basic approaches to fishing this type of water:

1. One is to normal way of casting a weighted fly and mending your line to get
the fly down. This can be done using an upstream, up and across, or down and
across presentation. The biggest pitfall to this method is the fact it is difficult to
prevent your fly line from dragging your fly too fast through the slow water when
you do get the fly down.

2. Another method, and the best option in my opinion, is to use the "short line
technique" method of presenting the fly. I will also use the name "high stickin"
because it is a common name for this method of nymph. This method of fishing
the nymph was taken from Europe. It is called the "Czech" method of nymphing
which allows you to keep in direct contact with the fly and allows you to control
the speed of the fly much better than you can when you have fly line lying  in
fast water on and near the surface. When you are high stickin, your fly line
rarely touches the water.

In the next article I will get into these methods in more detail.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh