Eddies are one of my favorite places to fish. I’ve caught some nice fish in eddies. It would be difficult to determine what my favorite water to fish is, whether it’s eddies, runs, boulders, or tail outs. I think the answer is WATER. But I always fish an eddy.
The image above is a small eddy on my home water. A nice fish rose to my dry fly here recently, but we didn’t connect.
I’ve written about eddies in previous posts. But I circle back to remind you how important eddies are to the fly fisher, especially a new fly fisher.
You can learn a lot by watching eddies. For new fly fishers, it’s a great place to learn what a seam is…the edge created between faster water and the slow current of an eddy.
Eddies come in all sizes. The image above is a small one. The largest I’ve ever seen was on the Upper Columbia River. Our guide pointed out one that was over a ¼ mile long!
Eddies are also a catch-basin for insects. The current brings anything floating downstream into the eddy, and that includes hatching insects or those who have deposited their eggs. You’ll be able to determine whether caddis or mayflies are available to trout. Keep your eyes open for size and color to help in your selection process.
Ever heard of the phrase “foam is home”? Besides catching insects, you might find large amounts of foam. Fish find protection under foam from predators. I’ve seen noses and heads rising through the foam to eat insects.
How they can separate insects from foam is a mystery to me. Perhaps the insects sit lower in the water and the foam floats on top. All I know is you have an opportunity to fool some big fish!
I’ve caught memorable fish in eddies.
This one is from the Elk River several years ago, one that still brings a smile to my face.
The fish was holding and eating under the foam in this small eddy.
The eddy isn’t very big, is it?
Or this one from the Lamar River canyon.
I found this small foam eddy on the Bitterroot River.
A nice Rainbow Trout was under the foam eating away.
Here is a large eddy on the Beaverhead River.
We’ve caught some nice trout at this spot.
The next time you find yourself on the river, find an eddy and see what you can find.