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Monday, October 3, 2011

Fishing the Dark Side

When fishing tail water streams and rivers there can be a lot of movement of gravel and structure from seasonal flows. Your favorite holding spots for trout may not be there anymore and you may see areas with bright clean gravel. With the high flows from the winter, spring and in some cases through mid-summer there can be a lot of gravel pushed around.

Where there are corners where the river takes a right or left turn and there is a gravel bank, the gravel sometimes can be carved out and pushed downstream. This often leaves a long bright gravel bottom pushing down from the corner area. Trout don't like bright gravel. You will see a distinct line where this bright gravel has filled the center of the run. To the right or left you will often see a darker patch of gravel to the bank. This creates a seam from light gravel in the center to dark gravel to the edges. This is the darker seam that you want to run your flies through. Fish the dark side.

Another area where this pushing of gravel can happen is below the riffles where the riffle transitions to another run below. The gravel in the run above the riffle where it tails out typically has nice dark color. Once the water flows over the lip of the tailout it can sometimes dig out the gravel at the top of the riffle like a rototiller and when it does this gravel is pushed downstream like mentioned above. This creates another bright gravel to darker gravel seam in the run below the riffle. Fish the darker side.

As you drift down the river there are often areas mid stream where there are islands of darker gravel where the bright gravel has pushed downstream on each side of it. Fish the dark colored areas.

When you drift a river and you are fishing the runs look for dark spots which are typically boulders or rocks. When it is bright out fish will hold in front, alongside or behind these spots, They are mini sanctuary areas. In a freestone tailwater these areas can be prime lies.

Keep your eye out for the dark areas and there's a good chance you'll find willing trout.

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.