Covering deep pools with slow moving water

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Hi all,
sometimes i ran into situations where very promising pools are on some locations, where the water flow is extremely slow and the depth of the pool can reach more than 2-4m.
What is your aproach when fishing these pools? i read an article in an old Chasing Silver abot these spot being mostly holding places for bigger salmon.
what i am trying to ellude is, what tipe of lines do you use? do you start from the top and move to the deeper layers, speed of retrieve, how long the leader, Figure if 8?
I really have zero clue how to aproach this type of pools, mostly they were regarded as pools to fish with spinning gear, but i have a feeling it would be very helpful to sometimes concentrate on these kind of spots too.
 

MCXFisher

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The low frequency with which I catch fish from such pools makes me cautious about offering definite solutions: each fish tends to be different from the one before in various ways.

In the extreme cases I have used a Skagit head with 8-10 feet of T11, with a medium sized brass bottle tube fly, literally bouncing the fly along the rocks at the bottom. Interestingly this has tended to produce big fish: 18 & 19 lbs were two I particularly remember, especially the latter, which was taken in a very low water temperature.

I have also succeeded by presenting a fly about 3-4 feet above the bottom and stripping it back quickly, much faster than Figure of 8.

That's the one general rule I'd offer: you must move the fly positively. There are 2 reasons for this: first, obviously the current isn't helping you; and second, salmon in these spots may well be long term residents, so you have to provide some stimulation to wake them up.
 
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Oscar

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Wait for a wind and back the pool up; starting at the tail, cast, take one step up, and retrieve your flies fairly quickly.

This method certainly works on shallow slow pools, but may also work on deeper pools if fish are lying higher in the water.

Or, of course, the Francis fly is used to good effect in Norway on such pools I believe, with a heavy-tipped fly line.

Oscar.
 

iainmortimer

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First thing I'd suggest is switch off all thoughts of how to set up using swinging a fly as the start point and instead start from a clean sheet of paper based on what you want to achieve. For me its about a sink and draw approach similar to how a prawn may be fished under a float.

Personally, I'd go floating line and leader length according to how deep I want the fly to fish, which would be heavily weighted. Its then a case of fan casting and bringing the fly back in twitches or longer pulls to lift and drop it near the bottom. If there is some flow albeit not fast enough to work a swinging fly then it can even be dead drifted through.

NOTE: I have not yet had success with this but have given little time to it. However, it was recommended to me and I know others have had success with it.
 
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The Flying Scotsman

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Hi all,
sometimes i ran into situations where very promising pools are on some locations, where the water flow is extremely slow and the depth of the pool can reach more than 2-4m.
What is your aproach when fishing these pools? i read an article in an old Chasing Silver abot these spot being mostly holding places for bigger salmon.
what i am trying to ellude is, what tipe of lines do you use? do you start from the top and move to the deeper layers, speed of retrieve, how long the leader, Figure if 8?
I really have zero clue how to aproach this type of pools, mostly they were regarded as pools to fish with spinning gear, but i have a feeling it would be very helpful to sometimes concentrate on these kind of spots too.
I've seen my pal sit on the rocks high up on a gorge type pool and whip out a salmon on a Francis by fishing it like a prawn. No cast swing type deal but sinking the fly to the bottom then twitching it up along the shelves in the side of the rock.
He looked like a garden knome but it did the trick
 

leave_u

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I've seen my pal sit on the rocks high up on a gorge type pool and whip out a salmon on a Francis by fishing it like a prawn. No cast swing type deal but sinking the fly to the bottom then twitching it up along the shelves in the side of the rock.
He looked like a garden knome but it did the trick
Can only imagine the scene😁 Do one use also other flies except Francis and Snaelda stuff for this kind of pools?
 

leave_u

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First thing I'd suggest is switch off all thoughts of how to set up using swinging a fly as the start point and instead start from a clean sheet of paper based on what you want to achieve. For me its about a sink and draw approach similar to how a prawn may be fished under a float.

Personally, I'd go floating line and leader the length I want the fly to fish which would be heavily weighted. Its then a case of fan casting and bringing the fly back in twitches or longer pulls to lift and drop it near the bottom. If there is some flow albeit not fast enough to work a swinging fly then it can even be dead drifted through.

NOTE: I have not yet had success with this but have given little time to it. However, it was recommended to me and I know others have had success with it.
Would you also use instead a sinking line and unweighted fly? I am asking because an unweighted fly tied with a lot of movement embeded, that pulsates, should move more attractive, casting would be easier. In the case you mentioned above, one would try to imitate a type of fishing with spin gear using a jig-bait, with jerking movements lile the one you use for pike-perch. I find it interesting, guess if experimenting a bit would give us more oportunities. I also only got advise about Francis and other heavy weighted flies, but they do not move so good in water or at least they look dead to me. Need to experiment a bit.
 
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leave_u

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First thing I'd suggest is switch off all thoughts of how to set up using swinging a fly as the start point and instead start from a clean sheet of paper based on what you want to achieve. For me its about a sink and draw approach similar to how a prawn may be fished under a float.

Personally, I'd go floating line and leader the length I want the fly to fish which would be heavily weighted. Its then a case of fan casting and bringing the fly back in twitches or longer pulls to lift and drop it near the bottom. If there is some flow albeit not fast enough to work a swinging fly then it can even be dead drifted through.

NOTE: I have not yet had success with this but have given little time to it. However, it was recommended to me and I know others have had success with it.
Would you also use instead a sinking line and unweighted fly? I am asking because an unweighted fly tied with a lot of movement embeded, that pulsates, should move more attractive, casting would be easier. In the case you mentioned above, one would try to imitate a type of fishing with spin gear using a jig-bait, with jerking movements lile the one you use for pike-perch. I find it interesting, guess if experenting a bit would gibe is more oportunities. I also only got advise about Francis and other heavy weighted flies, but they do not move so good in water or at least they look dead to me. Need to experiment a bit
The low frequency with which I catch fish from such pools makes me cautious about offering definite solutions: etc h fish tends to be different from the one before in various ways.

In the extreme cases I have used a Skagit head with 8-10 feet of T11, with a medium sized brand bottle tube fly, literally bouncing the fly along the rocks at the bottom. Interestingly this has tended to produce big fish: 18 & 19 lbs were two I particularly remember, especially the latter, which was taken in a very low water temperature.

I have also succeeded by presenting a fly about 3-4 feet above the bottom and stripping it back quickly, much faster than Figure of 8.

That's the one general rule I'd offer: you must move the fly positively. There are 2 reasons for this: first, obviously the current isn't helping you; and second, salmon in these spots may well be long term residents, so you have to provide some stimulation to wake them up.
Very good tips. From all the comments til now is clear that actively moving/twitching the fly is a key factor. Did you experimented with full sinking lines like the DeepWaterExpress or Skagit with T Tips work better? I will really try and experiment a bit if given the chance.
 

leave_u

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Wait for a wind and back the pool up; starting at the tail, cast, take one step up, and retrieve your flies fairly quickly.

This method certainly works on shallow slow pools, but may also work on deeper pools if fish are lying higher in the water.

Or, of course, the Francis fly is used to good effect in Norway on such pools I believe, with a heavy-tipped fly line.

Oscar.
Do you retrieve the flies constantly or twitch them? and at which speed, like figure 8 or strip?
 

tcorfey

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You might consider two techniques we use in the deep pools in the estuaries here.
1. Slow sink line with the countdown method. Cast then count 1 one thousand and retrieve, cast then count 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand then retrieve, keep extending the count until you reach bottom or start getting fish. This allows you to target fish that may holding somewhere in the water column.
2. Use a fly with a bead or weight at the head and a flowing material. Then retrieve in quick strips with a pause. the heavy head causes the fly to rise during the strip and then fall head first on the pause kind of a jigging motion. Many times the take will be during the pause so pay attention.

Of course you can combine the two techniques if you want.

Good Luck!
 

leave_u

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I will resume:
- go deep (from the start? Fishing or twitching a fly in the upper layers would produce response?)
- deliberately move the fly in a twitching pattern, like a prawn would swim
- use either sinking lines with heavy/or light flies, or use floating lines with a leader that alow a weighted fly to achieve depth
- fish like one would do while fishing streamers in deep mountain lakes.

Ok, a lot of interesting stuff to thibk about.

Does anybody targets specificaly these type of pools, knowing that they hold bigger fish than faster moving water?
 

leave_u

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You might consider two techniques we use in the deep pools in the estuaries here.
1. Slow sink line with the countdown method. Cast then count 1 one thousand and retrieve, cast then count 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand then retrieve, keep extending the count until you reach bottom or start getting fish. This allows you to target fish that may holding somewhere in the water column.
2. Use a fly with a bead or weight at the head and a flowing material. Then retrieve in quick strips with a pause. the heavy head causes the fly to rise during the strip and then fall head first on the pause kind of a jigging motion. Many times the take will be during the pause so pay attention.

Of course you can combine the two techniques if you want.

Good Luck!
Thanks a lot, it is then like fishing streamers for lake trout, will definetely give it a go.
 

MCXFisher

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I used the Skagit and T11 tip approach as I didn’t have an sinking heads in my pocket on the days in question. This is because I only tend to carry them when faced with heavy or cold water.
 

Loxie

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The low frequency with which I catch fish from such pools makes me cautious about offering definite solutions: etc h fish tends to be different from the one before in various ways.

In the extreme cases I have used a Skagit head with 8-10 feet of T11, with a medium sized brand bottle tube fly, literally bouncing the fly along the rocks at the bottom. Interestingly this has tended to produce big fish: 18 & 19 lbs were two I particularly remember, especially the latter, which was taken in a very low water temperature.

I have also succeeded by presenting a fly about 3-4 feet above the bottom and stripping it back quickly, much faster than Figure of 8.

That's the one general rule I'd offer: you must move the fly positively. There are 2 reasons for this: first, obviously the current isn't helping you; and second, salmon in these spots may well be long term residents, so you have to provide some stimulation to wake them up.
That's an interesting point about bigger fish. My best this season so far, from a pretty small sample size, came from just such a pool.

In answer to the OP I like a monkey on a bottle tube, a Francis/Snaelda, a muddler on a dropper or a skated Sunray depending on prevailing conditions. A good wind is very useful. Sometimes these pools can provide sport in dead low water conditions and are a useful asset on any beat.
 

Rennie

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I fish pools like this quite frequently. From the off it helps if you're seeing fish, if they are there then start with a long leader and a non too heavy flee 1st off.Never retrieve in a straight line, try and get a curve into the line, short twitchy retrieve make that flee look alive. I often get them as the line straightens out and the flee begins to climb in the water column
If no joy, it helps to know the depth of the pool, weighted flee, long leader, let it sink deep down and a bobbly up n down retrieve, bounce your flee through, again get that curve in your line.
Last resort is to use a big sink tip or full sinker, only as this can produce excess noise and disturbance, and it can disturb fish, ideally you want the flee down there at fish level and not the fly line.
Shall we say, done improperly you'll catch plenty of fish, but they won't be hooked in the mouth.
There's no easy path here, you'll need to feel your way into the particular pools you fish, see what works- maybe even whats allowed!
Fritz body and a marabou tail on a strong single, works in the slightest currents. Leave some std and tie some up weighted, swop n change.
Last tip, don't strike, fo8 retrieve and when you get a take, keep the rod point low on the waters surface, keep fo8 ing and walk backwards to set the hook!, your arm shouldn't get much past the butt ring!.
It can be a boring way of fishing, but takes when they come are usually very very positive.You need the patience and mind set to keep at it, frequently there's very little to indicate where fish might be, so work the water, cover it all best as you can and eventually things will become clear and you'll learn where.
Best of luck, Pedro.
 

Slaneysider

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The best thing would be to find out where they lie first, you could concentrate more on certain parts of the river and not waste time fishing unproductive slow water, have caught them on the fly on dead water but there has always being a wind on it blowing up the river.
I use Artic fox with lure flash something that has some sort of movement and twitch the fly.
Sometimes you can be lucky and see them pitching at certain parts of the river in slow water so you know that's a certain lie.
I think it's a good thing in a way slow dead water because the Salmon get a chance to survive till spawning time because alot of Anglers just walk bye the dead water to the next pool with a weir or good flow of water.
 

iainmortimer

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Would you also use instead a sinking line and unweighted fly? I am asking because an unweighted fly tied with a lot of movement embeded, that pulsates, should move more attractive, casting would be easier. In the case you mentioned above, one would try to imitate a type of fishing with spin gear using a jig-bait, with jerking movements lile the one you use for pike-perch. I find it interesting, guess if experimenting a bit would give us more oportunities. I also only got advise about Francis and other heavy weighted flies, but they do not move so good in water or at least they look dead to me. Need to experiment a bit.
I’m not a fan of sinking lines in general as I don’t like the idea of the line running through the fish and so in general it’s a floater and polyleader for me. That’s also because on my club water there is no need for anything else though. Some good advice on that above though.
 

leave_u

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I fish pools like this quite frequently. From the off it helps if you're seeing fish, if they are there then start with a long leader and a non too heavy flee 1st off.Never retrieve in a straight line, try and get a curve into the line, short twitchy retrieve make that flee look alive. I often get them as the line straightens out and the flee begins to climb in the water column
If no joy, it helps to know the depth of the pool, weighted flee, long leader, let it sink deep down and a bobbly up n down retrieve, bounce your flee through, again get that curve in your line.
Last resort is to use a big sink tip or full sinker, only as this can produce excess noise and disturbance, and it can disturb fish, ideally you want the flee down there at fish level and not the fly line.
Shall we say, done improperly you'll catch plenty of fish, but they won't be hooked in the mouth.
There's no easy path here, you'll need to feel your way into the particular pools you fish, see what works- maybe even whats allowed!
Fritz body and a marabou tail on a strong single, works in the slightest currents. Leave some std and tie some up weighted, swop n change.
Last tip, don't strike, fo8 retrieve and when you get a take, keep the rod point low on the waters surface, keep fo8 ing and walk backwards to set the hook!, your arm shouldn't get much past the butt ring!.
It can be a boring way of fishing, but takes when they come are usually very very positive.You need the patience and mind set to keep at it, frequently there's very little to indicate where fish might be, so work the water, cover it all best as you can and eventually things will become clear and you'll learn

The best thing would be to find out where they lie first, you could concentrate more on certain parts of the river and not waste time fishing unproductive slow water, have caught them on the fly on dead water but there has always being a wind on it blowing up the river.
I use Artic fox with lure flash something that has some sort of movement and twitch the fly.
Sometimes you can be lucky and see them pitching at certain parts of the river in slow water so you know that's a certain lie.
I think it's a good thing in a way slow dead water because the Salmon get a chance to survive till spawning time because alot of Anglers just walk bye the dead water to the next pool with a weir or good flow of water.
Very good advise from all. It definetely make sense the above. A light line and weighted fly would definetely cause less disturbance.
 
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