How would you fish a rootwad? Updated Results


Active Member
This isn't right or wrong but I would personally stand downstream away from water as to not spook fish, cast upstream to base of downed log, let my dirty azz nymphs get sucked under by current at the base of log lying across river, and when I thought my nymphs were deep enough(8 count) I would throw a downstream mend and let the current start drifting nymphs naturally on...


Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Thanks for all the ideas, keep 'em coming 'cause I'm learning. Even trying one or two things in each place I don't think I have enough time left in my usual little rivers to do much more trial work this summer. The waters cool but getting almost to low to be sporting for my taste and a certain char is starting to color up and become too aggressive to stay away from when encountered.


Active Member
The second biggest Cutthroat I ever saw came out of a similar root clump of cottonwoods on a Muddler fished upstream. I didn't catch it, a client did.
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Old Man

A very Old Man
When ever I came upon a root wad like I just kept moving. No use trying to fish it. And I don't even try to climb up on it. I've had my quote of falls climbing up on log jams and root wads.


Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
If you're throwing a streamer, you've gotta throw one big enough to grab the attention of whatever big boy is tucked way back in there. Personally, I'd start with a decent sized dolly llama and work my way up (in size) from there. 7wt, 250gr depth charge. work it from the top, work it under the log, then work it from the side, then the bottom, then try a dead drifted streamer. If they want to eat, they'll move a helluva long ways to crush it. Oh, and nothing less than 12lb...preferably 15

I'm not fishing for numbers or dinks in that type of hole...
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Active Member
It's all context dependent, largely depends how I was setup to fish that day.. More often than not I'd take a few pokes at it with dries, soft hackles and maybe a lightly weighted nymph or 2. That'd tell me if there were any players hanging around the edges.

The fish that are tucked deep into structure, in my experience, are there for a reason and unless you're willing to pull out some heavy artillery they're gonna stay put. So, that's when I reach into my sling pack and pull out special hardware for such an occasion.... a flask of good single-malt. This is the important part, you might want to take notes. 1) open flask, 2) hold flask high and salute your wary and well adapted opponent. 3) take a pull from the flask and say "well played" 4.) enjoy the scenery and the moment 5.) move on.


Active Member
Yes. I've sacrificed a few more than normal lately seeing "how close" or "how far in". I lost about a dozen to the trees and water features the other day for about as many fish.
My last ditch effort , if I just had to explore it, would be to approach this hole from upstream on the other side. I'm looking for a point in 3ft of water that will drag my line down to the hole. I tie on a floating skater and get my line length out just short of snag. Strip it in and keep it coiled, off the reel. Tie on a weighted sculpin, poke the rod tip to the bottom and keep it there, let the line out 2ft at a time. Don't let your mother see you doing this.


Active Member
Looks shallower at the tailout. Start there, fishing upstream with a hopper/dropper rig with 5 ft of tippet. Preferably a heavier dropper. Work it a few cast. Keep wading up, working right along the log, wade no further than 45 degrees from the log, take a couple more casts. If nothing hits. Switch upbunker buster with a deaddrift streamer and nymph behind it, or a double nymph rig, 1 fly being really heavy. Tungsten and relatively large, used to use a special stonefly pattern (can’t remember the name) in WY and it worked awesome for conditions like this.

Yardus Maximus

WFF Supporter
I'd flick a weighted Stone or Cadis with a small unweighted Baetis dropper on an 8' 6x leader into the head of the bucket, give it enough slack to sink quickly to the bottom. Once on the gravel, tight line it euro style through the run. No need for a 10' rod, just one that has a soft sensitive tip.

Matt B

WFF Supporter
In the original post, am i the only one who would reach down and rip out the long thin stick blocking the hole? Then fish up the river, and hit this again later after the fish had settled again?
Only if it were 5 minutes from my house and I knew I’d be fishing there 12 more times this season. I draw the line at rearranging the river or the veg to suit me but there’s nothing inherently wrong with yanking out a branch or 2 here and there.


Active Member
In the original post, am i the only one who would reach down and rip out the long thin stick blocking the hole? Then fish up the river, and hit this again later after the fish had settled again?

I hope you'd reconsider. That's not a stick. That's a piece of timber that may, or may not, be the start of even more habitat accumulating in that hole.

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