Techy Thursday - Big Winter Flows

As I write, the river is pumping at over 450 cumecs, and so any approach to fishing has to be considered, thought out and carefully planned to get the most from the day. As I consider about where I’ll hit it a few initial thoughts spring to mind...

  • Fish safe. Know where you’re wading, keep back from drop offs and faster currents, watch for unstable rocks and floating debris. A wading staff provides stability and peace of mind while both wading and walking the banks but the best safety tip I can offer is to fish with a mate.
  • Fish heavy. These fish will be anchored to the riverbed. Plan your swing so your fly is at maximum depth, under maximum control as it swings through the best of the water. This is where Airflo Custom cut tips and heavy, cone head streamers come into play.
  • That heavier water way out in the flow will prove tough to fish. In high flows I personally hunt out the resting water. Simply look for inside bends, bank extensions, behind logs and larger boulders, and the smoother water at the tailouts. Newly formed backwaters, or that little side braid that was always a little on the shallow side could also be prime right now.
  • Fish short. if your fly is landing way, way out there in that heavy current, chances are it will get whisked away before getting to the depth required to work that calmer edge. Instead, reel in your ego as you do your running line and fish shorter, more targeted casts landing just inside that heavy water. Your tip will sink more efficiently in the slower stuff and be at a better depth as you begin your slower, more controlled swing.
  • Move about. Chances are, as the peak flow passes, fresh fish will move up the system, and if the freshies are on the run, you should be hitting them. If you’re not getting amongst them, jump in the truck and switch spots. They’ll be there somewhere.