Fly Fishing Encyclopedia

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BANK FISHING

Bank fishing includes both still water and river/stream fishing and we'll look at each in turn. These different types of venue present their own individual challenges but the problem is always the same, whether fishing a still water or river - where to find the fish. We are constrained on the banks of a lake or reservoir by how far we can cast. On a river or stream casting distance may not be such a problem if the water is not too wide but the task is actually made more complex by this small size - how do you locate the fish without being detected yourself.

So the obvious next question is . . . where is the fish's food most likely to be? We know that trout are omnivorous, feeding on bugs, nymphs, larvae, fry and virtually anything else that moves. There must be plenty of vegetation for these creatures to feed on or hide in. And now we are looking for the littoral zone - that area of the lake or reservoir at the edges that will support the vast majority of the flora and fauna in the water. The littoral zone will not be spread evenly around the edge of the water. Some areas will be more fertile than others. The shallowest areas will become too warm in summer to support animal life even though it is full of vegetation. Other areas will slope too rapidly to the depths to allow vegetation to grow. Consider also the fish's need to have a route of escape should danger threaten. We are now confining ourselves to certain areas that are more likely to contain our prey. The ideal spot will be within casting range, the edge of the vegetation and eight to ten feet deep and with a drop off to deeper water. This is the depth where insufficient light permeates the water to allow vegetation to grow and the fish will patrol this edge looking for food among the plant life.