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Ronan's report

Thursday 4th February, 2010

So, a couple weeks ago I was talking about what I see when I go to the river... Unfortunately I was stuck in a serious of airports over the last couple of weeks so I never had a chance to finish it.

Habitat features that I’ll look at when doing an assessment include boulders, woody debris, and undercut banks.
Woody debris is a blessing and the bane of all fly anglers. Woody debris provides cover; protection for fish from predators, shelter from the elements, and relief from faster flows. Trout are more “comfortable” spawning close to cover, and we’ve found more redds close to large woody debris.

Boulders provide similar cover as woody debris, but will often create backeddies and velocity breaks that can hold trout. One thing to remember is that water slows down as it piles up In Front of a boulder creating a zone where a fish can often hold. Clusters of boulders can create amazing pocket water with a trout or two in each of the eddies.

Last and often overlooked are undercuts. I have seen large cutthroat hiding in shallow undercuts while folks walk by looking into deeper water. Always, always fish undercuts!! Similar to undercuts, thick overhanging branches and grass provide cover for trout from above and also provide a source of food and insects drop from leaves. Again, even shallow areas under vegetation shouldn’t be overlooked.

Anyways, this is a very basic description of things I look for when on a river. Hopefully folks will slow down and look at what the river is providing before jumping right in.


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