How to fish a river or stream.
SAFETY NOTE: There are many streams and rivers that have a flow rate and bottom which allow easy and safe angling. Many streams and rivers can be very dangerous. There are
Standing in flowing water over long periods of time will tire out your legs. Be aware of how your body feels and when it is time for a rest or to quit.
Be very respectful of this environment.
If you are cautious and careful you can enjoy this environment. If not, your personal safety is at risk.
Fish Feeding Habits
When fish are sitting in the stream food flows by them very quickly. They react to this potential food by quickly grabbing it in their mouth. If it is food they swallow it, if it is not, they spit it out. This process goes on constantly. When a fish takes an artificial fly, it quickly realize it is not the real thing and spits it out. When you are fishing and feel any kind of tick or change you need to set the hook immediately. It is not necessary to set the hook hard. Just lift up your rod quickly.
The typical equipment used for wading is neoprene waders and wading boots. The waders fit tightly to your body, are warm, and have floating capabilities. They are the safest way to go but they are expensive. Nylon sock waders are less expensive. If you shop carefully, you find an affordable pair. I have found some on sale in camping stores for under $50. Instead of wading boots, wear high socks over these waders with running shoes. This will protect the waders if they are brushed against rocks and logs. In the summer you can wade in just your shorts and running shoes.
Line Set Up
If you do not have fly fishing equipment, a regular spin casting set up will work fine. If you are fishing in a "Fly Fishing Only" stream, your set up will be simple. You will need to use a weighted fly tied onto your line. That's it!
If you are fishing in an "Artificial Fly Only" area, or a stream that doesnt have regulations regarding fly fishing, you are allowed to use floats and external weights. In this case set up your equipment as shown in the diagram.
Since this is a site dedicated to youth and beginners, fly casting with a fly line is not covered here. Please refer to your local fly shop or library if you wish to pursue this. The method shown here was developed by a very well known fly fisherman, named Charles Brooks. It is called the Charles Brooks Short Line Nymphing Method. It is a common method used by fisherman of all levels
Charles Brooks Short Line Nymphing Method
The idea here is to cover a large area of the stream you are wading in without having to cast. Visualize yourself in a stream with the water flowing from your left to your right. From the tip of your rod there should be 3 metres of line with your fly at the end. This line amount may be adjusted depending on the size and nature of the stream you are fishing. With your left hand flick the line as far upstream as you can. As the fly moves through the water follow it along with your rod tip. When the fly is directly in front of you, switch your rod from your left to your right hand. Now continue following the line with the rod tip as it moves downstream. When you have pointed the rod tip downstream and the fly has moved as far as it can, transfer the rod back into your left hand. Now flick the fly back upstream again. Repeat this procedure over and over. In order to cover as much of the stream as possible you can move forward a step after each "flick" or move downstream a step after each "flick." If you are in the stream where the water is flowing in the opposite direction as described above, reverse the procedure.
Click image for an animated example.
The same method but a little different
Use the same line set up as before. Position yourself in the middle of the stream and face downstream. Start with the fly near you. Allow the current to take the fly with it, away from you. Lower your rod tip as the fly moves away. Once the fly can no longer move downstream, flick it back so it lands near you. Repeat the procedure again. After every few flicks take a step forward. You can work your way downstream while using this method.