Video Pro Tips: How to Target Steelhead Around Boulders

Written by: Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow, Epic Waters Angling

The flatter water downstream of a boulder is more productive that the roiling water right behind.

Epic Waters Angling and Orvis have teamed up to create a steelheading miniseries. Using the latest Orvis prototypes, the clips are specifically catered to small-stream tactics. After a busy season of guiding, Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow set out to deliver viewers techniques that are designed to elevate the game of steelhead anglers from the west to the Great Lakes.

One of the most important considerations for locating steelhead is finding structure. Sure, you see fish sitting out in the middle of pea gravel flats all the time, but that does nothing to narrow down your efforts. Instead, look for the obvious stuff when travelling up and down a river–and few things are more obvious boulders.

Imagine: You’re driving up an unknown steelhead river, and the rain is coming down in sheets. The sky is dark and the bottom is hidden from view. The river is looking mighty swollen, and distinct runs are morphing into featureless off-color glides. But there, in trough, is a boulder in the most perfect spot.

Boulders offer obvious current breaks for steelhead. Oftentimes, these obstructions allow steelhead access to water that otherwise would be too quick. It allows those fish to sit in good cover, often midriver, while they comfortably rest.

See all 15 videos in this series on the
Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center.

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