Fly fishing a river

Let’s face it, fishing a river is different than fishing a lake. The reality is, in all water systems fish will act very much the same, give or take a few adaptations. Battling the constant current, eddies and slack water are all unique to river fishing and make the experience both fun and challenging for fisherman of all skill levels.

Constant Current

Constant current is both a blessing and a curse. Fish will tend to face into the current because it constantly brings them food.  So always cast into the current and work your lure with it. This technique offers more chances for the fish to strike. 

Eddies and Slack Water

Eddies and slack water are great places to find fish. Always fish on the edge of the current in slack water. Most fish full back in the slack are resting between feeds and won’t bite very often (not good!). However, the ones you find on the very edge of the current (this is where you want to be) are there feeding actively. In the case of an eddy, if it is behind something like a large rock, tree, or point that protrudes into the current you may have to run your lure past it a few times to give the fish a chance to strike. 

River Depth

As is the case with most bodies of water, fish will tend to move to the deepest spots they can find when the water gets warm. This helps them regulate their temperature. Say the river you are fishing is mostly three (3) feet deep and you find a spot where the water drops to six (6) or even (7) seven feet, the fish will most likely be aggregating in that area. This happens frequently in one of our favorite river fishing spots, the Chikaskia River, which eventually makes its way into Kaw Lake. Typically you’ll find a host of flathead cat, channel cat, blue cat, along with long nose gar, carp, sand bass, and crappie.

Farewell and Happy Fishing!

We hope you’re able to take some of these tips and use them to your advantage with any river system in the area that you decide to fish! Be sure to also check out the Arkansas and the Salt Fork of the Arkansas. And, as always, if you’re wondering where you should begin your fishing journey, or trying for something specific on your latest fishing expedition, we’re conveniently located and here to help!