How to find holes on the river

speedbird49

Active Member
Hi. I recently discovered this forum. It looks to be a treasure trove of information as I start to branch into freshwater fishing, and enter the world of fishing on the fly. I realize this is a basic of the most basic questions, and comes dangerously close to asking someone for their holes (A big no no in the fishing community I am aware) but I have been trying to figure this out all year with no success. Generally, I will think of a place I want to go by going onto Google maps and finding a public access park or roadway. I'll look for bends and indentations in the bank that create holes where fish could shelter. But I know that Google maps is often deceptive, and that the only way to know if a place holds fish for sure is to go and fish it. But living in the greater Seattle area, that for me means at least a two hour journey, unless I head to the lower Stilly or Skagit which both tend to be browned out this time of the year from what I have been told. Should that be what I am doing? Yes. But as much as I wish I could, I can't go out and fish everyday. And with the amount of rivers our state has, it would take me months if not more to hit every single hole near me. And as I know from beach fishing, just because there were no fish at the spot one day, doesn't mean there won't be fish at the spot tomorrow.

I guess this is where I am struggling. When starting to look for fish holes, how do I most efficiently use my time and efforts? I realize that no one will tell me where to go, but I really want to have a better idea of how to plan a trip myself.

Thank you all in advance!
 

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
Hi. I recently discovered this forum. It looks to be a treasure trove of information as I start to branch into freshwater fishing, and enter the world of fishing on the fly. I realize this is a basic of the most basic questions, and comes dangerously close to asking someone for their holes (A big no no in the fishing community I am aware) but I have been trying to figure this out all year with no success. Generally, I will think of a place I want to go by going onto Google maps and finding a public access park or roadway. I'll look for bends and indentations in the bank that create holes where fish could shelter. But I know that Google maps is often deceptive, and that the only way to know if a place holds fish for sure is to go and fish it. But living in the greater Seattle area, that for me means at least a two hour journey, unless I head to the lower Stilly or Skagit which both tend to be browned out this time of the year from what I have been told. Should that be what I am doing? Yes. But as much as I wish I could, I can't go out and fish everyday. And with the amount of rivers our state has, it would take me months if not more to hit every single hole near me. And as I know from beach fishing, just because there were no fish at the spot one day, doesn't mean there won't be fish at the spot tomorrow.

I guess this is where I am struggling. When starting to look for fish holes, how do I most efficiently use my time and efforts? I realize that no one will tell me where to go, but I really want to have a better idea of how to plan a trip myself.

Thank you all in advance!
I was in your situation years ago.

Local Seattle area fly shops gave me excellent general knowledge of what rivers to fish. I purchased flies from them to thank them for taking time to help me. Many of the streams are an hour from downtown Seattle. Almost all of them featuted 6 to 10 inch native cutties. A bit underwhelming for my first fly rod, s 6 wt. But a blast on my 2 wt.

I would be happy to take you to a few hush hush local streams this summer.

The streams normally fish well after runoff, so July 4 thru Sept is prime time for dry fly action snd wet wading. I can share knowledge with you of where to find fish in small streams that you can use in your own stream.
 

Nooksack Mac

Active Member
As you can see from the advice given throughout this thread, learning local or regional water is a wholistic enterprise. Use them all, and keep probing, like a lonely police detective trying to solve a thirty year-old crime. Start with fly shop clerks, but don't drive them nuts with endless questions. Anyone can afford a guided wade or float trip now and then. Drive county roads that go near interesting streams; then probe driveways to isolated houses and farms near the water. Ask politely if you can walk through their woods to their streams. You'll gain some regular access to places that are unknown to most of your competition. If a stream is gentle enough, float it from bridge to bridge with a raft or pontoon boat. If you stay in this area, you can use the knowledge gained for the next fifty years; I have.
 

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