Fishing the Fast Water

2 years ago


The summer is heating up and so are the water temps. As temperatures rise, trout move into faster water where they can get oxygen and avoid predation. Trout are streamlined and can hold in surprisingly fast water without expending much energy. A few changes to your approach will put you on some nice summer fish.

Reading Water

Take a minute to observe the river before jumping in. Fast, shallow riffles that are normally vacant will hold some nice fish in the summer. The fast inside corners of runs are also prime. Look for groupings of big boulders and focus on the pockets on the front and back side of each boulder. The turbulent water and structure combination creates excellent habitat and big fish love this type of water. A good chunk of the water you would normally walk past will hold fish in hot weather.

Get Close

Fast currents are difficult to fish with a long line. The inside corners and fast seams are the only exception here as you can cast upstream and control the drift. Get close to pocket water to minimize the amount of line that touches the water. This will require some aggressive wading to reach mid-river boulders. 

Fly Selection

Presentation is more important than patterns in most situations. The fast currents mean quick decisions for the fish. Getting your fly in their face is the key. Use bushy hackled dry flies or foam patterns to stay afloat in heavy currents. Twitching and skating the fly is never a bad idea. Use a combination of one large, weighted nymph and a one small nymph. Leave the bobbers at home and high stick to get your flies down quickly. The current will grab a bobber and pull your flies out of the sweet spot. With a long leader and weighted flies, you can hang them in a pocket until a fish grabs.


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