Fish Where Fish Are, Not Where Everyone Else Fishes
On a recent guide trip I found that, surprisingly, several of my favorite spots were already being fished when we got to the river. Luckily we were able to fish many places that usually get totally overlooked and we did quite well. Here are some places to check for trout in your favorite river or stream:
Riffles: What we often forget when reading trout water is that a riffle is almost all habitat. The fact that the water is riffling into small waves means that rocks are breaking up the current giving trout hundreds of small current breaks and holding spots in each riffle. Look for the most subtle of depth changes and fish the drop offs from shallow to slightly deeper water in the riffles and you'll likely find fish. What's better, the oxygen rich water in riffles supports more bug life than anywhere else in the river.
Rapids: Even in the fastest water there are holding spots for trout. Check even the small pockets in fast water that get overlooked and you may just find hungry trout that don't get harrassed too often. Fish in fast water have to make a quick decision on whether to eat or not and so they are often much less selective.
Shallows: On that recent guide trip we caught most of our fish from less than 24 inches of water. Find the micro habitat in the shallows, smaller versions of what you might normally read as good trout water, and you'll find hungry fish, especially in rich tailwaters with a lot of fish and food.
Fast Runs: Nymphing with a lot of weight in fast water has become a favorite technique of mine and has turned up some great fish. Sometimes I fish fast water Czech or Polish style and sometimes with an indicator. This type of water holds fish that you can get close to and that get overlooked by anglers who aren't willing to weight their stuff down. Put on more split shot or heavier tungsten flies and hit the fastest spots. We shot a video of this type of fishing last year you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/user/UtahFlyGuides#p/u/12/1-9WLUa9-pM.
Try some of the spots you normally pass up and you may just be surprised at what lives there.