Bends Are Like Best Friends

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A pretty bend and a rod bent on the Gros Ventre River. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Bends in rivers and streams are like my best friends.

They possess all the qualities that I value and they always provide me consistent support in my endeavors. I don’t know about you, but when I find myself staring at a section of river or stream and I see a nice bend, I quite often head straight for it. I do this because I know it will usually produce a quality fish or two on the end of my line, and it’s generally very obvious to me where I should present my flies.

Just about every bend you encounter on the water will hold these three qualities.

1. One Well Defined Current

There usually will be one well defined current, collecting and moving food through the bend. This clearly indicates to anglers where the most food is drifting and where the fish should be positioned to intercept it.

2. Clear Channel or Trough

That well defined current usually has cut out a deep channel or trough in the bend. This reinforces further why fish will be located here. The deeper that fish can get below the surface and current, the less energy they’ll have to exert to maintain position and feed. The deeper water also provides fish with added safety and camouflage from predators.

3. Undercut Banks

Often a significant section of a bend will have an undercut bank from the current digging into the bank over long periods of time. Undercut banks provide the same function to fish as roofs do to us on our houses. It protects us from the elements and it allows us to live comfortably. Furthermore, the current funnels food directly into the undercut bank.That’s like us calling in a large pizza for delivery and having it come right to our front door. Big educated fish understand this value and that’s why they’re so often found here.

Next time you find yourself on the water with the choice to fish a straight section of water close to you or a nice bend farther away, opt for fishing the bend and I bet you’ll find yourself rewarded for your efforts.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline

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