5 Tips For Technical Tailwaters

5 comments / Posted on / by

Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Johnny Spillane

A quick response to Louis’s article “Trout Are Not Smarter Than People, But They May Be Smarter Than Me.”

Trout have a brain that is smaller then a pea. No offense to Louis, but I’m positive that you can out-think a trout in a technical tailwater situation.

Here are five tips to help you catch incredibly “smart” fish.

1. Go light and go small.

Fish are creatures of their environment. If they see small bugs all the time then you have to fish accordingly. 7X tippet and size 24 or 26 bugs are what the fish are looking for. Go down in tippet size before you switch fly patterns.

2. Match the sky

If you are fishing with an indictor, go with something that matches the color of the sky. If it’s overcast, use gray yarn, if it’s clear use a small clear or white Thingamabobber or yarn. You can also use a Slinky indicator. They are deadly with picky fish.

3. Use stealthy weight

If you are using split shot, make sure they are not flashy at all. Anything painted in a moss green is better then silver lead.

4. Keep it natural

The same goes for flies. Flash is forbidden with picky fish. Anything that has flash will not do well in water with fish that see everything.

People think they can fish a flashy fly above something that is more natural, but even a flashback pheasant tail above a slim pheasant tail will make fish move out of the way. You can literally see fish move a foot or to the side when something that does not look completely natural comes drifting by.

5. Presentation, presentation, presentation

Fly selection is not as important as presentation. If you can get a good drift with subtle patterns, you can catch fish.

Next time you’re on a technical river, try these few tips. I’m confident they will help you catch more fish.

Tight lines,

Johnny Spillane

Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

5 thoughts on “5 Tips For Technical Tailwaters

  1. I like it when some very useful tips, like these can be, summed up simply and concisely. It saves time in reading them in this ever more “overload of information world” and makes it easier for retention purposes.

  2. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Regardless of experience level, it is good to check your own methods for enticing a take against someone else’s list. A couple of your ideas are not commonly advanced, and they are worth a adding to my mental checklist.

    I am especially intrigued by the “no flash” comment. I have never heard your advice of eliminating flash altogether or that educated fish would run from a flashback PT. You obviously know something that I do not. The flashback PT is not a go-to fly for me, but I have used them in the past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...