Techy Thursday - Beating Those Post Flood Blues

With rivers recovering in the deep south from the biggest floods since ‘99, many anglers are struggling to come to grips with the changes in the rivers and behaviour of post flood fish. Good anglers can always go to a new river, read it and find fish. Those who simply learn which pockets usually hold fish and just target those spots are often lost as their favourite holes change.

Let’s drop a few considerations on how you can score when things seem tough.

Stability

Look for permanent structure. Large boulders, cut banks and depth. Things that didn’t change. Chances are the trout aren’t holding in that straightened gravelly reach. Wider sections of riverbed with lower banks are often better equipped to handle big flows than narrower, channelled sections as floodwaters can spread out and gouge out the riverbed much less. Search out wider pools and this is often where post flood trout can be found.

Cover

If they’re not feeding, trout seek cover. Larger, deeper pools seem to be where numbers can be found. As rivers settle back in, fish will venture out and repopulate greater areas but for now, focus around the depths, drop offs etc

Food

With a big washout a trout’s diet becomes heavily focussed on food items that survive. Cased and free living caddis often survive secreted within holes and crevasses in boulders and sizable rocks, and terrestrials such as willow grub, beetle and cicada can often become the mainstay. Whilst mature mayfly nymphs often wash out in floods, juveniles in egg form often remain, and so trout may feed on these much smaller nymphs along inside bends and other places less affected by swollen flows. Streamers too offer a well needed mouthful, so keep a Mr Glister handy.

Gear

Surprisingly fish light, with long leaders. Without much food available fish will be jumpy, and with much sampling of debris, their spit reflex will be sharp as. Fish small, light and accurate and keep your strike quick and on point.

Post flood experiences can be scintillating as one relearns new pools, turned over runs and new backwater systems. Don’t look at a river as destroyed. Look at it as refreshed.