Spotting Big Trout in all the Wrong Places

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One of my home waters that I spend 500 plus hours a year guiding on is notorious for big fish holding in water that most people would consider horrible trout water.

I’m talking about water that is less than a foot deep that even veteran anglers would regularly walk by without fishing. The other day guiding I spotted a huge hooked jaw male rainbow pushing 30 inches. It was sitting in plain view on a gravel bar in six inches of water hugged up against the edge of a rhododendron. My partner and I watched the fish feeding regularly for about five minutes, while we planned out our spot and stock. I had seen big fish laying in this shallow gravel bar in the past many times, but nothing this size. Here’s the ironic part, right before we had approached the spot I had just explained how important it was to scan the water, even ridiculous looking shallow water before making a cast in the chances we might spot a big fish.

Heavily pressured fish are smart and often sneaky. I truly believe big trout will often search out under pressured water that anglers tend to overlook to stay off the radar. Doing this keeps them from getting harassed by 90% of fly fishermen. Next time your fishing heavily pressured trout water that holds big fish and the water is clear enough to sight-fish, don’t make the mistake of overlooking subpar trout water on the way to your next honey hole. You may very well end up spotting a trout of a lifetime. Just because you’ve fished a spot several times with no luck, doesn’t mean it will never hold fish. Ask any veteran guide, and I’m sure they’ll tell you stories about telling their clients, “Let’s walk through this water and get to the next spot. It never holds fish”, and about that time, a huge fish spooks out of the water. It’s happened to me on more than one occasion.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Spotting Big Trout in all the Wrong Places

  1. “Let’s walk through this water and get to the next spot. It never holds fish”, and about that time, a huge fish spooks out of the water….seems like this occurrence is always followed by the client awarding you with the most skeptical look of the day, ha!

    I’ve taken those words completely out of my vocabulary. Now its, “Don’t walk/float through anything deep enough to hold a fish without casting to it first!” Time and time again the skinniest water produces great fish. Great write-up Kent!

  2. Overall its been a good Fall! Water temps are starting to get a little chilly so the bite has slowed a touch, but part of the fun of this time of the year is having to work a little bit harder.

    Anytime you feel like hopping in a kayak and hitting the Flint, Hooch, or Ocmulgee for shoal bass let me know!


  3. I’m guilty of this. I have spooked more trout by just wading in to get to a nice hole. But…I’m learning. It’s amazing how many fish hole up in water you would never think to fish.

  4. This is literally the best fishing community anywhere. I read it every day, and I’m also so grateful it helped a lot with my fishing!

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