Introduction to Water Types

We often hear the question, "I often fish water that is highly pressured by other anglers. How do I overcome this and increase my chances of catching more fish?"

When an angler refers to water as "highly pressured," they are implying the stretch is fished frequently. Two issues arise:

1. The fish are used to seeing fisherman and being caught, thus they become very picky and/or easily spooked.

2. It is difficult to even find a spot on the river, let alone move up or downstream.

Luckily, there are ways to overcome these obstacles. Long story short — Be different!


Classic Holes

If you hit the classic spots on a popular river, fish are going to be weary of the norms. Go outside your comfort zone on fly selection. Matching the hatch is going to be critical as any small discrepancy in size or color could warn the fish that anglers are lurking. Presentation is also going to be important. If using dry flies, a long leader and minimal drag are the name of the game. If nymphing, you may need to step down on the tippet diameter (6 or even 7X). Do what the fish aren't expecting.


Cover More Water

Imagine standing in front of a beautiful river 😍 . Looking to your left and right, you read the water scoping out where fish might be holding. You determine there are likely fish near a big seam, a submerged log, and a deeper slow section at the tail. However, most anglers are thinking the same thing! On a highly pressured river, those spots have been fished hundreds if not thousands of times. We're not saying it's impossible to catch fish in these spots, but we do want you to recognize the potential opportunity.

While the majority of fisherman are hitting the "best" holes, be on the lookout for other potential spots. While walking from the slower tail section to the submerged log, try the riffles in between. On your way to the big seam, try the eddy. You'd be surprised at how many less-pressured fish you pass.



If you're new to fly fishing (or even if you're a seasoned weekend warrior) you may be thinking, "Riffles? Eddy? Seam? What are those?" That is what we will be covering in the next 5 sections. We want to help you recognize WHAT types of water hold fish, WHERE the fish hold, and HOW to effectively fish each type.

Click or tap the picture below to get started.