Top Tips For Fishing Pocket Water

Pocket water stretch on the Boquet River

Pocket water is probably my favorite place to fish, when done correctly you can can focus more on the fishing and less on other things. Not to mention that pocket water is just plain beautiful but you have to keep in mind it can be dangerous as well depending on the river.

A good stretch of pocket water will have water flowing in all directions, its usually broken up well with a lot of white water and foam and isolated "pockets" of calmer water. The places you would normally find fish are there, they are just harder to see.
Chute of faster water in a pocket water stretch with noticeable depth changes
When I fish pocket water I focus on edges, any section of slower water that meets faster water is a goldmine when fishing amongst the rocks. You can't ignore the traditional lies right behind the boulders themselves but I focus more on the edges. Im also looking for depth changes which I typically find in fast water chutes and they are pretty easy to pick out by the coloration change alone.
One of my favorite stretches right below a large waterfall
Im also a big fan of waterfalls, some people overlook for reasons I can't understand but when I find a waterfall of any size you can bet I'm fishing below it. Because of the hydraulics they create beneath what your eyes can see, they offer a huge advantage to fish. Fish hiding there are well protected from predators and have a relatively relaxing place to chill out and snag passing food.

I always try to fish pocket water fast, well not too fast but at a good manageable clip. If you're wading into the river you can get much closer to the fish than you normally would which eliminates the need for most false casting. There are so many likely holding spots that you don't want to spend too much time on each one. I slowly make my way upriver making a couple drifts through each good lie I can find nearby. Fish here are more opportunistic than elsewhere and they are more likely to grab your fly on the first couple drifts.
Fuji getting high to reach across into the slack water on the other bank
This is also one of my favorite places to strip streamers. I like to wade in mid stream and work my way up casting to both sides. I only have 10-15 feet of line out and I just lay it down wherever I think there is a fish a give it a few strips using the rod tip only, than I flip it to the next spot, you can cover a ton of water fishing this way and you're on foot.

My favorite tool in pocket water is a long handled net, this is a dangerous place to wade and you often never really know what your stepping into. I don't like to move too much when playing a fish for this reason so I carry a long handled net to be able to reach out and grab them if necessary, it also serves as a great walking stick should I lose my balance and need some leverage to get a better foothold.

Share this:



Post a Comment