Tenkara Grasshopper Central

Stop before you cross the river!!!

Stop before you cross the river!!!

by April 25, 2016 0 comments

As a tenkara angler and guide, I have been watching other anglers on the river recently and have just been shaking my head. Almost every angler I see steps into the water without really studying all the water first. I have been guilty of the same thing until now.

Stop before you cross the river!

I agree that one of the best experiences of fly fishing is being able to step into the water and feel the force of Mother Nature pushing against your legs. I know this is one of those awesome feelings that brings me in tune with the river each and every time. Although I am always super excited to get this feeling as soon as possible I have come to a realization that I hope will help you as an angler as well.

On a trip I took a short time ago I watched a number of fly fisherman upon arrival at the riverside scan up and down the river to choose a location to start from. When they found a location they were interested in, especially across the river from them, they stepped right into the river and started making their way across the river.


I understand why they do this, thinking that the sooner they get to what might be considered a prime lie, the sooner they can get into fish. What many anglers who do this do not realize is that they are missing an innumerable number of fish.

Fish hold in what is known as pocket water 1 and what any angler worth his or her salt knows is that fish hold in these pockets. Therefore, every rock from Point A to Point B potentially has a fish behind it, or possibly in front of it.

To hook and land the most fish an angler can in a day, I would suggest casting into the river, starting from shore and then working your way across the river to that “honey hole” you saw when you first arrived at the river. By casting to each and every pocket on the way across the river you increase the chance of a higher catch rate tremendously.

What happens when I get to the far side of the river and want to get back?

Simple, do exactly as you did getting to the “honey hole” just in reverse. I do this so that I can continue working as much water as possible and get as many fish as possible interested in my fly. This technique makes my river travels look more like zig-zags than straight lines.

Stop before you cross the river and I can guarantee that your line will come tighter much more frequently than you might expect.

Show 1 footnote
  1.  a pocket (as in rock) where water may gather; especially : a water hole in the bed of an intermittent stream occurring typically as a bowl at the foot of a cliff over which the stream leaps when in the flood stage. Google search 4/25/2016 Source Merriam-Webster.com
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