Tips & Tactics #18 – Reading the Water

Reading the Water is another code word for new trout fishers to figure out.

There are books on this subject, lots of them. I have read a few. They go into detail and have illustrations as well as photos with arrows pointing to the spots and identifying the currents.

…he is behind the rock, and in front; next to the bubble stream and at the head of the pool; on the bottom and in the slick; try the slow water next to the fast…

Decoder: All “reading the water” means is where should I fish this fly?

Deceptively Deep

Reading the water is applying common sense and previous experiences to the situation you are in.

Here are some tips:

  1. Consider the 3 basic needs of cool oxygenated water, food and protection – perhaps in that order. Look around the water you are on and assess where those 3 might come together. These 3 characteristics will make it a primary lie, a place that the trout will call home.
  2. Remember where you saw one the last time you were at this or a similar spot. Even if a trout is taken out of a lie that is desirable, another will take his place.
  3. Remind yourself that stealth and presentation will make the difference between a hit and a snub. You may pick the right spot to fish but if you show yourself or blow your presentation you will never know a fish was there.
  4. Think about how to present your fly, then do so as if you were only going to get one cast.
Beat 2 at Caleb Smith State Park

Key points: When you arrive at the stream, take your time:

  • Sit and watch for a while.
  • Relax and pick where you will start and how you will progress.
  • You are reading the water!
  • Don’t cast until you are ready to present the fly as if you were only going to get one cast.
  • Once you have covered an area move your feet!

Tight lines!

Nissequogue Rainbow

For all you need to know to catch a trout click here.

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