A glide is a low-velocity (slow moving) stretch of river with minimal/gradual depth change. Without any large obstructions (rocks, logs, etc.) the overall current seems to be relatively constant throughout the entire glide (see pictures below).
Without much difference in surface disturbance, it can be quite intimidating and difficult to know where to start 😳 . The truth is, fish can be found just about anywhere within a glide! 🎉 However, this is not a stretch of river to just jump in and start casting at random. Without much surface disturbance and change in depth, it will be fairly easy to spook fish.
The key to glides is paying attention to subtle details. Watch for rising or subsurface fish that you can target. Glides are an awesome place to be during a hatch! Be on the lookout for little changes in current, submerged rocks, or grooves that can provide a nice fish hold. If the water is not super clear, you may just look for color differences (can indicate a depth change or small obstruction). Slow down 🐌 , take a deep breath 😎 , and be very intentional with your casts 🐟 .
What is the best way to fish glides?
Last Fall, we took a trip to the Green River here in our home state of Utah. After a short hike, we came to the top of a ridge and looked down upon a beautiful stretch of river. We made our way down to the bank and noticed this stretch was clearly a glide.
While rigging up, we kept our eye on the water trying to notice any rising or subsurface fish. As glides have relatively little surface disturbance, it is definitely worth your while to stand on the bank for a few minutes watching for any action. Knowing exactly where active fish are holding makes your job a whole lot easier.
Unfortunately, we didn't see any active fish. Knowing that they can be pretty much anywhere within a glide, we resorted to strategy number two.
Being quite large, this stretch of the Green River is about 50-75 yards wide. However, the water flows were low that time of year. This made the glide a consistent 2-3 feet deep, allowing us to wade across without much difficulty.
We picked a spot at the end of the glide and entered the water. Working upstream, we divided the river into 10-15 yard increments (see image below). Within those sections. we analyzed the water looking for any submerged rocks, subtle depth changes (change is water color), or grooves in the riverbed. Our goal was to then work each section from side to side (close to far), with an emphasis on the "fishy" looking holds. Once you have completed a section, carefully wade to the next and repeat the process.
This strategy proved to be very successful that day on the Green. Within one of the first sections, we noticed a smaller submerged rock. Had we not slowed down and noticed its faint outline, we would have waded right past. We threw a cast to it's right, 💥 fish on! We threw a cast just below it, 🐟 fish on! We threw a cast to it's left, 🔥 fish on!
Next time you see a glide, don't be intimidated by it's deceiving lack of features. Slow down, pay attention to detail, and enjoy the process.