Reading current and water environment

Reading current and water environment

Mika Lappalainen | Friday, 16 November 2018

You should fish around rocks and stones. End of currents and starts are good spots to fish. Also remember to fish mirrors. Don’t forget to fish edge of the streams. Also fishes might be under the bank or if there is branches making cover over the river, under those might be nice surprise fishes. Deeper spots gives bigger fishes. And sometimes you find fishes from heavy current. And where currents meets or there is brook coming to river. Have you heard or read all this from somewhere? I have. When I started fly fishing, I read all the books available and all of them where telling these things. And those things are true but if you can’t read the current and water environment at the time it won’t help you at all to know those things.

Once I was told that I’m more nature guide than fishing guide when I pointed out what was happening downstream from our fishing spot. There were lot of seagulls flying just above the water but they didn’t take anything from water. I told to my guest to take look those seagulls when I got that comment. My guest couldn’t see that there is something for him. He was fishing one of spots mentioned above because those you should fish to get one. I try to get him going but no. Eventually he went downstream that 100 meter to spot where seagulls were still flying. And what he found was massive hatching and I mean massive. It was spot in end of stream, but just edge of that. Current was pushing shucks to an eddy ( in Finnish akanvirta which means woman’s current) and that area was totally covered by shucks. It was just gray from shucks. You get the point I think. Just shucks…. And fishing was awesome. He got some nice fishes from that spot, instead fishing nothing from up. This year I had same kind of situation in different river with guests and when fisherman saw what was happening down he went there. From photos you can see some of those catches in this year.

Especially for me it is crucial to know how to read water. One reason is that I’m doing also white water rafting and I need to know how to steer boat downstream when guests are paddling. Other bigger reason is that my favorite local river changes every year. In the spring flood and ice are shaping bottom of that river and some stones and boulders are changing places. Some holes are filling with sand and gravel and other ones are born. So it means that when going fishing first time every summer…. it is different river. So that means I have to be able to read the water. So I know from surface what kind of is the bed. (This doesn’t work on women, sorry guys, at least what I know). Good example is that about 6 years ago certain area, pool, was looking really good but it was just kindergarten for graylings. Ever never we caught bigger fish from there. 3 years ago that pool changed and there was some holes coming up and current change its direction little a bit. That pool is now good for graylings over 40 cm and some nice whitefish also on certain time of summer. Kindergarten moved upstream to where holes where filled little bit with gravel. So these two places they just changed places. When looking surface you can see difference quite fast.

I do spent lot of time watching river. Why? Because it is relaxing but it is also making me better fisherman, I hope. From rafting boat I can observe how fishes swim and react. Or if I have meeting with my domestic home graylings ( you hear about those next week, when Paul almost fished on right spot), they will show me how they get their food, how fast they really are after making decision to take a food. Everytime I see insect floating on current I’m following if it can make thru some areas. If not, well there was a fish. If it can make it, I have seen how it is going in current, so I know how my dry-fly is going, so I can make good presentation. This is just a learning experience. Nobody have never ever crack the code, but we all are getting better in our hobby. For me it is also that I want to be able to teach something to my guests when fishing, maybe it is just “Mika’s grayling dance” which is fishing technique for my domestic graylings. (one of my guests named that two years ago) Sometimes it is working, sometimes not. It is like any fishing. And by the way ( osta tie in Finnish because you pronounce this like buy the way), when you see rise on the current, the fish is in totally different place. That one you probably know.

I hope to have converstation on board to this topic. I would like to hear your ideas and experience about this.


Have a nice weekend and let’s meet at board


grayling 49 cmrealising 49 cm graylingwhite fish close to 50 cmsplash from grayling
kitkadomestic graylingwater to fishwhitefish
poolwhitefish and fishermanbrown trout when massive hatching