Can you read a river as you would read a book? If you can, you could avoid wasted time, fishing stretches of water where there is little chance of getting a bite.
The first tip is, practice patience. When you are fishing unknown waters, take the extra time to walk up-stream looking for rising fish and the best lies. Planning out your strategy and picking your most promising spots will save you time in the long run and increase your catch. I know you are anxious to make that first cast but, this is time well spent.
Secondly, look for lies close to the bank. Many fish like to hold close to the bank, especially on the outside of bends where the current digs out a deeper channel and where overhanging branches can provide both food and shelter. Present a low profile as you approach these banks to minimize spooking the fish with sight or sound. Some believe that approaching a stream with the sun at your back makes it more difficult to be spotted by Wily Trout.
Look for creases, distinct lines on the water’s surface, which indicate boundaries between slacker water and the main current. Fish often like to maintain a holding pattern in slower water where they don’t have to fight the rapids, while they wait for the faster flow to deliver the goodies. Imagine trout making feeding forays into the crease and then returning with their prize to more sedate water. Now you are on your way to beginning to think like a fish! Have you every rushed to the refrigerator, snatched a morsel and returned to the comfort of your couch? Maybe we humans have more in common with fish than we might think.
Many rivers have weed beds broken up by patches of gravel and sand. These can be ideal lies. Under the swaying fronds the fish have shelter and the food bearing current funnels around the edge of weed beds. Also, they often house massive numbers of invertebrates and smaller bait fish.
Large boulders often make great lies. Look for most fish alongside or upstream from the boulder. Bridge pools and pools below waterfalls are often productive. The churning water at the base of a falls is rich in oxygen and the swirling water holds an abundance of food in a holding pattern.
Reading a stream is more of an art than an exact science. So use your imagination and your instincts and you can sharpen the powers of observation by years of practice. Think of a well witch, searching for water on a piece of property with an uncanny 6th sense. You too have a divining rod, now go out there and witch for that elusive trout. When that pole begins to twitch with anticipation you will know you are close. You’ve got to keep a sense of humor because no matter how much you think you know, you still don’t know enough to out-fox a fish. “Lord, keep us humble!”
There’s nothing like a sanctified sense of humor to inspire a spirit of humility. We are called to be “fishers of men.” As such we can not take too seriously the work God has called us to do. At the same time, however, we can take ourselves too seriously as we go about doing that work. If we can’t “out-fox a fish,” we can’t argue people into the kingdom of God, with logical reasoning. But, with a smile on our face, we can humbly bear witness to our story; how faith has become real in our lives. twitch channel views