Don’t overlook the obvious

The best spots are the best spots because they are good.
Fishing reeks of this sort of obviousness, yet there are hidden subtitles that take fish from pocket water and into nets. The more time you spend on the water the more you start to learn what a river tells.
The upper Stanislaus River is paralleled by highway 108, which makes for great access to water, but also means every spot that looks fishy is assaulted daily by anglers because these good spots are also good and close to the road.
I’ve spent enough time on the stretch between Clarks Fork and Kennedy Meadows to declare I have an idea about what is going on.
Armed with a 5-weight, I start low and work up. The early morning hike down the steep bank is easier when I am fresh and highly caffeinated. It also pretty much ensures that I will have the first casts to fish that tend to shut down as the day warms and water gets cut with fishing line.
As tempting as it is to lose yourself in the cathartic attributes of day fishing after a week of work, we do ultimately fish to catch, so I commit myself to fishing hard. When I get to a spot that obviously has fish, I work the fringes and the spot I want to wade first in case where I want to stand is where a fish wants to eat.
I’ve caught plenty of fish in spots usually ignored in favor of the ‘honey hole‘ because there is no rule that says fish have to always be on the other side of the river or where textbooks say they should be. Fish are where they are, so giving all water your attention is an important step in dialing in a river.
If you spend 10 minutes fishing the shore side flank of a rock that splits the river and catch nothing, at least you know that you won’t be standing where a fish used to be… (continued at:’t_overlook_the_obvious_when_planning_fishing_strategy?id=405

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