Do you prefer predictability when fishing?


Riffle > Run > Pool
The local tailwaters are fun because once you learn the water, it very seldom changes.

But I love freestone rivers for the exact opposite reason.

I go back and forth. Do you have a preference?


Active Member
Yeah, it's good to have a few predictable fisheries to fall back on now and then. But, kinda like having mac and cheese for dinner every night, good and reliable gets old quick.

For me, fishing is about possibilities. That's why I love the ocean. I'm not saying all, or even most freshwater fishing is easy by any means. It's just that in the ocean, virtually anything is possible. Stuff like watching helplessly as 300 yards of backing melt off a 12wt outfit in seconds, seeing the tuna on a buddies line get eaten by a killer whale, having hundreds of dolphin surround the boat and play in the wake, having to look up a weird species of fish you just caught, etc.. etc... Those are just a few examples of things that make it impossible for me to live far from saltwater. "Predictable" stays on the dock.

Skip Enge

Active Member
There are trip planners and others that follow a "rule' of happenstance. Or rather there are bean counters and their are those that meander through this life...What happens happens. I like that. But honestly I don't think about it. Predictability is sort of like that old Patrick McManus chapter about hunting in the future- pay the fee...set your watch and meet your deer with blaze orange streamers tied to it's antlers in the meadow at 2:11 PM...


Well-Known Member
I wouldn't know what to do with predictability. I love it when I think I have a spot wired. I've found that million dollar rock. It always holds a fish. I always get a grab there. Until I don't. And so it goes. It's called fishing, not catching.

Skip Enge

Active Member
As so many have said about the walk through most things, "i get more philosophical, all the time..." What a bore huh? Ha!


Active Member
It depends. I love freestone streams. You’re right, they change a lot through a season which requires a lot of adjustments from the fisherman. Tons of fun trying to figure them out.

Tailwaters, especially pressured ones, bring their own challenges which can also be a lot of fun. Super technical and they allow for a lot of experimentation because of the combination of predictability and pressure. I enjoy that as well.

Nothing is as unpredictable as the salt though! You don’t even have to go offshore to experience it either. I fished for about 3 hours yesterday afternoon. Caught a good number of SRC in the 12-15 inch range. I then hooked into something that nearly yanked the rod out of my hand. No idea what the hell it was but it was easily my heaviest fish since chum last fall. Had him on for about 10 seconds, saw a bright silver flash in the depths and then slack

I love not knowing what you might hook into fishing beaches....


Active Member
Water is fluid, you never step in the same stream twice. Trout have territories and favorite haunts. The larger fish take up residence in the best lies, more food less work. In the ocean you have zones. Most fish stay in their zone unless they are on the feed, then the predators come into different zones to feed. Once you understand their behavior it becomes easier to find the fish. When you factor in luck, fishing is very unpredictable. Mems.
After unpredictably losing a rod and reel overboard today i am leaning towards predictable

Overall i agree with others. Predictable is cool. I love the predictable fishing in the south sound over the winter and spring. But there is something about the unknown possibility that is appealing. Nothing has ever provided that for me more than the salt. The ocean in particular but the sound as well.

Today i went out and caught a decent number of predictable coho but in the back of my head, especially early, were the reports of nice kings being caught in the area lately.
When a fish grabbed my fly twice near the boat late morning and I saw a quality 5lbish coho thrash next to the boat before spitting the hook it was a pleasant surprise.

Overall though nothing provides that thrill of the unknown like the ocean.

Skip Enge

Active Member
This thread is boring. I think I’d rather discuss how we become bad asses while fly fishing.
Well Scweeet! that does it wrap it up...Swimmy has spoken. So clear with so few words. it's like a haiku, it's unrhymed sort of like the Japanese poetic form. Except it does not that consist of 17 syllables arranged in three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables, respectively. ;)