Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3813 June 7-21 2019 - Page 8

6 June 7 - 21, 2019 VOL.38 • ISS. 13 Catch & Release Fishing! Hook More & Bigger Fish With Flies... Tight Line Nymphing For High Water Trout! By Jason Thatcher After an epic winter of rainfall, and water storage at amazing heights, it’s time for the spring runoff and increased river flows for water delivery to our friendly neighborhood SoCal water contractors. With the high waters of summer, and abundance of bugs hatching, lets discuss nymphing some less than traditional water. Big flows, plus structure (boulders, clay banks, submerged wood, etc.), equals swirls/boils/hydraulics…. whatever you want to call them, they hold fish but can be difficult to make a presentation in with fly gear due to crazy conflicting Jason Thatcher shows off a beautiful rainbow that jumped all over a stone fly nymph imitation presented in currents. Make a cast into a decent swirl and your line gets high fast moving water. sucked down one Photo courtesy of RIVER PURSUIT GUIDE SERVICE, Red Bluff. way, your leader goes another, and before you know what surface. Ideally, the entire rig will be allowed to freely float around in every happened, your entire rig gets blown out toilet bowl swirl without your line getting sucked down or blown out. into the main current. Many, many anglers Often, the strike is felt and not seen. With the direct connect in swirl water, just pass right by this sort of water. any tap or bump should trigger a hookset. If you drift your fly into that more An effective way to make a presentation neutrally-buoyant holding water the take can be fairly subtle. Many times, into this kind of water (with a nymphing though, the fish attack the fly from lower depths, and immediately swim back rig) is to increase the amount of weight. I toward the bottom resulting in a pretty violent strike. Be careful not to set the don’t mean using a beaded fly instead of hook too hard on these or you will be breaking fish off on the hook-set! Large heavy nymphs like these bead one sans-bead. I mean big nasty chuck-n- In many stretches of water, swirls are super oxygenated which is attractive to head stonefly imitations are top duck split shots. It’s critical to weight-up the fish and makes for an even harder fighting fish than one might not normally offerings for anglers employing high in order to defeat the wild swirly water. encounter. Also, it is not uncommon to find very large pods of actively feeding water tight line tactics. I would also consider using a longer Photo courtesy of FLY SUPPLY fish in swirls, especially when bug hatches are occurring just upstream. Helpless INTERNATIONAL, Jackson Hole. fly rod than what would be traditionally bugs washing around and around again is too easy for trout to pass up and they employed if you know there will be a lot will definitely congregate in these locations. If you hook one fish in a particular of swirl water encountered. This swirl keep after it; odds are there will be quite a will make the actual presentation few more. approximately 1000% easier. Why Here on the Sacramento River, this type you ask? Well, because in order to of water is bountiful all summer and anglers make the best presentation in swirl can spend an entire day solely fishing in this water, you are best served using a particular style. It’s a great diversion from the ‘high-stick’ or ‘tight-line’ method. ‘usual’ nymphing one typically encounters To tight-line nymph in swirls, you on the Sacramento River, not to mention, it’s will need as much reach as you can quite common to encounter bonus steelhead all muster. As soon as you land a cast, summer in the very same water! raise your rod tip as high as needed Other rivers where one will encounter the to keep a direct connection to swirly stuff include the Pit River, Hat Creek, your leader or strike indicator and Trinity River, and Upper Sacramento to name prevent your main line from being just a few. This summer make an effort to fish grabbed by the swirls and ruining the slightly less traditional waters and you may the presentation. be pleasantly surprised with some of the best If using an indicator (which I fishing of your season! would highly recommend) there Want to fish with Jason Thatcher for trout, should be just enough tension on salmon or steelhead and learn the fine points? your line to keep it from subma- Book a trip with River Pursuit Guide Service! When the water is running high and moving fast, you don’t want any slack rining, but not so much tension that You can check them out online at www.riverpur- forming in the line and that’s why employing a tight line nymphing approach the whole rig gets planed out on the is so important. Photo courtesy of RIVER PURSUIT GUIDE SERVICE, Red Bluff. Fun Fly Fishing experiences for Beginners and Experienced Anglers. We Teach FLY FISHING! Steve Crosetti | 530-333-3484 • 3810 THE FISH SNIFFER (833)-347-4661 • FISH SNIFFER DIGITAL!!! Digital subscription now available to the Fish Sniffer. Download the app from iTunes or Google Play. Check us out on or Email: