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Old 06-28-2010, 03:38 AM   #3
Ifish Nate
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon
Posts: 2,607
Default Re: CQC - Close Quarters Catching

When the water is high or discolored, fish the calmer edges tight to shore first, then hit the current seams. This requires pinpoint casting accuracy - and I highly recommend sidearm casting. In fact, for just able all your small stream fishing - the sidearm cast is going to be the preferred method. The cast I use second most (talking about conventional tackle here) is a flip-cast.

The flip cast is performed with the lure dangling from a rod length's of line, swing the lure in toward you in a pendulum motion, then flip it out by extending your arm as you drive the rod tip forward toward the target (but keep the rod tip up so the lure swings toward the target instead of falling into the water at your feet). This is a short-range cast - I use it when I need to get a lure into a really nasty root wad, or under a blow down, or into the depths of a beaver lodge.

like the root ball above (and below)

When the water is high, but clear, work the edges of the current in plunge pools below rapids, and where two current seams come together. Fish will lie in the slow water and rise up out of their lie to grab a bite to eat, then dash back to their cozy easy lie. Once you've worked the edges thoroughly, try the fast water by casting up into the rapid or riffle, and letting the lure get washed down into the froth. Retrieve the lure just fast enough to get the action working, let the current control how quickly the lure moves downstream.

Once you reach the point where you decide to turn around and head back to your put in - fish the water you've already covered as you go back down - especially water you think you've spooked, or in spots you just couldn't get the fish to commit at. Try changing things up - if you've been tossing a flatfish, toss a spinner. If you were tossing a spinner, toss a small crank bait. If you want to stick with the lure type you've been fishing, change up the colors or the size, and play with retrieve speeds. If legal on the particular water body - try drifting a small plastic worm or soft plastic egg cluster (or an egg fly) downstream on a natural dead drift. Depending on water depth and speed, you may or may not want to add weight to get the lure down, but stick with small BB size shot. a 4" senko in a natural color is a good bait, as are Berkley Power Worms in the smallest sizes, or 3" twister tail grubs. Nose hook the soft plastics with a #6 circle hook, or rig them wacky style. Just be sure you check the regs before fishing soft plastics if fishing in Oregon. On waters that say "artificial fly and lure only" - soft plastics are considered bait, and are a no-no. In this case - try drifting a #8 or #6 Woolly Worm or Woolly Bugger fly in black, olive, or brown with a couple small split shot pinched 6 inches above them. San Juan Worms would also work - especially if tied on long shank hooks.

In longer, slower, deep runs another trick, borrowed from steelheaders (and some intrepid fishers from Arkansas) is to fish small marabou jigs under a small sliding float. White, black, and pink are good colors to start with. Alternately, you can fish weighted nymphs or flies the same way, if they're not heavy enough, crimp a BB shot on the line right above the hook eye. Just let the surface disruption and current provide the jig's action - short, light jigs in the 1/32 to 1/16th size are optimum, though you might find that bigger is sometimes better, especially if the stream has any sea-run fish in it. Just don't go too big.

Keep the jig a few inches off the bottom and adjust upward if you need to. Use the smallest float you can find.
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