Techy Thursday - Riffle Tips

It’s that time where autumnal behaviour certainly sets in on our front country streams as the temperatures cool and rivers become more hatch driven. Many are at a loss as to what to do when the fish aren’t rising, only giving joggly water the quickest of once overs. Here are a few quick tips to improve your hit rate amongst the riffles.

Slow Down

Chances are you’re moving through the riffle way too fast and haven’t covered the likely water nearly well enough.

Don’t Fish The Whole Riffle

Rather pick it apart and identify the best of the water. This will keep you more focussed. Look for seams where different currents meet, pockets, downflow gutters and of course, the drop offs. Are the fish on the edges? Target the shallows. If not, go deep.

Fish Heavy

Chances are your standard tungsten nymphs aren’t getting down to where you need them in calf to knee deep water. I’m a fan of fishing heavier nymphs and going for shorter, drag free drifts where my nymphs are fishing the exact lie I’m targeting exceptionally well.

Fish Super Light

Fish will happily feed in those ankle deep edgewaters and right at the very heads of the riffles too. Lightly weighted flies are needed to get a drift here.

Fish A Team Of Flies

Two flies will get noticed more so than one, whether of the same subtle pattern or if you choose to add a soft hackle for life, colour, or bling to get noticed on one. A caddis / mayfly combo is a handy go-to on the lower Mataura.

Bonus Striking Tip

You need enough slack to ensure a drag free drift and to allow you to get the rod up enough to flex on the strike, yet not enough so that you can’t connect quicker when that indicator drops. Reach mends allow your flies to fall ‘ready to fish’ and are easily controlled during the drift by moving the rod tip. Consider a quick, low ‘sideways strike’ in the direction of the flow as opposed to the overhead ‘dry fly strike’. You will connect quicker, and not throw your rig into the willows behind in the case of a false alarm.