GUIDE TO RIVER FISHING
- River Fishing Tips
- Calm Areas or Eddies
- Stumps and Vegetation
- Sand Banks and Rock Juts
- Merging Waters
- Methods and Techniques
River fishing can be one of the most relaxing and rewarding experience for any angler from novice to the experienced. Whether you fish from a boat or by the shore, there are techniques that can consistently put fish in your hands if you understand how to read the waters and know the behavior of the species you are targeting.
Imagine casting into a secluded river with no one around. As you breath in the fresh air – you are there in the moment connected with nature with one goal in mind, to catch fish. You cover the water with your casts, anticipating the moment a massive trout or bass surfaces to smash your fly or lure. Getting ready for the fight of your life.
If you are new to fishing, and don’t know where to start, don’t worry. By the end of this you will know exactly how to read a river and target the species you would like to catch. It is very simple. Begin by understanding what gear that is best suited for freshwater tackle.
By learning about freshwater tackle and river fishing gear as the first step. You can then follow a few basic river fishing tips and techniques that will help you consistently find where fish are hiding within the different types of water flows.
RIVER FISHING TIPS
Fishing, like hunting, requires you to think as if you were a fish. Fish typically like to seek protection from other animals and predators, as well as finding refuge from the strong currents. This means that there are certain spots on the river that will hold more fish, and if you can read and recognize these spots, your chances of catching fish will be increased dramatically.
Fish generally do not stack in shallow waters unless they are feeding on insects, invertebrates and other food sources (which tend to be in the shallow areas).
When fishing, how you read the waterways and your environment will dictate your success. it is almost as if it were a game of chess. Understanding how to read your environment is necessary to seek where fish are typically holding. Once you master this, you will find that fish have common patterns and areas they like to hold. This knowledge can be transferable with you to any river you fish. Not every river or stream is built the same. The best rivers to fish typically consist of many natural structures that fish may use as protection; such as big rocks, sunken logs, overhanging trees to deep pools and shallow tail outs.
CALM AREAS OR EDDIES
These areas are commonly known as backwaters, where the water is moving at a very slow pace. Fish will often stack in these areas to seek refuge from the fast currents, as it allows them to conserve more energy rather than fighting to stay in the strong currents. Food sources, typically get brought down from the fast currents, allowing fish in the calmer waters to ambush and snatch a quick bite before returning into the calm waters.
How to fish these areas?
Fishing above the calm areas
Cast your lure or bait into the fast waters and allow the currents to drift into the calmer waters or eddies. Fish will typically hit your bait or lure when it begins to exit the fast currents.
If fishing Fast water throughout, cast slightly upstream and slowly retrieve, allowing your lure to swing naturally with the currents as it drifts downstream
Fishing below the calm areas
Cast your lure or bait up stream and into the channel between the fast and slow water, then begin to retrieve it through the calm waters. Note that your bait will be drifting much quicker as the current is pushing your bait, so you must have a fast retrieve. This will allow your lure/bait to move as if it were a small bait fish is trying to escape from the fast waters.
STUMPS AND VEGETATION
Keep an eye out for stumps and vegetation. Areas underneath overhanging branches or bushes are also good spots to try because these areas offer shade as well as protection from birds and other predators.
SAND BANKS AND ROCK JUTS
Fish typically hold near islands or sand banks, or downstream of rocks or stumps. You will find fish typically facing downstream, resting in the slow waters, saving from exerting energy swimming against fast water. Casting in these areas will likely land you a fish. Areas that typically have a combination of slow and quick water will result in holding fish to attack a lure.
Look for areas which have a drastic change in currents from slow to swift. These areas may also contain: merging currents, shallow to deep drop offs, creeks streams or springs that feed in. These areas typically hold or carry sources of food, which allow opportunistic fish to feed.
RIVER FISHING METHODS AND TECHNIQUES
There are many different methods to fishing a river, depending on the gear you have, the species you plan to target and the characteristics of the river. Below are a few examples of the common methods used on the river:
SPIN CASTING SPOONS
SPIN CASTING JIGS
RIVER FLY FISHING SINK LINE
RIVER FLY FISHING FLOAT LINE