Updated: Jun 11
Last weekend me and my good friend went up north and after arriving late afternoon last Friday we set out to the river immediately, before even getting up to the cabin. The water levels were quite high but it didn't go long before we spotted the first two trouts standing next to the bank feeding on small mayflies, more exactly Baetis. This high water that we met got me inspired to write just a short post about fishing conditions like the ones we met. First of I want to quote my mentor Stefan Larsson that once said to me:
Trout are just like us humans, they want to spend as little energy as possible for as much food as possible.
Effort vs energy
I mean, trout are powerful and they can cross heavy currents and navigate rapids but that's not the most efficient method to find food sources. Instead trout often seek places such as behind boulders, along the banks, back-eddies, corners etc. Normally, trout, whether its low water or high water are often found in knee-deep water feeding and holding up. High water pushes their normal lies in the river to a not so good place to stay and the trout are being pushed to the banks.
Where's the food? Follow it!
I normal or low water situations the insects are often spread out across the river structure which means the fish can stake out their feeding territoriers across a bigger part of the river in the search for food. This opens up the space for us fisherman. However, in high water conditions the insects tend to drift and get stuck in certain territories and that's where we need to look. The insects are hang up in lower velocity waters, and where fast water meets slow water there's a tendency to bring a whirl whereas the insects hold up and this cause the trout to position themselves in front of this abundance of food.
There's of course more to take into consideration when fishing high water but follow these and it will increase your chances of getting into fish during high water. Should also note that this text is based on fishing a tailwater system.
Tight Lines / Habitats Fly Fishing Co