I’m talking about water that is less than a foot deep that even veteran anglers would regularly walk by without fishing. The other day guiding I spotted a huge hooked jaw male rainbow pushing 30 inches. It was sitting in plain view on a gravel bar in six inches of water hugged up against the edge of a rhododendron. My partner and I watched the fish feeding regularly for about five minutes, while we planned out our spot and stock. I had seen big fish laying in this shallow gravel bar in the past many times, but nothing this size. Here’s the ironic part, right before we had approached the spot I had just explained how important it was to scan the water, even ridiculous looking shallow water before making a cast in the chances we might spot a big fish.
Heavily pressured fish are smart and often sneaky. I truly believe big trout will often search out under pressured water that anglers tend to overlook to stay off the radar. Doing this keeps them from getting harassed by 90% of fly fishermen. Next time your fishing heavily pressured trout water that holds big fish and the water is clear enough to sight-fish, don’t make the mistake of