If you’ve followed my RiverKeeper Flies posts for a while, you know my fishing partner and I fish a lot. You might interpret today’s title of how to select where to fish as one river over another. Or perhaps it might resonate with you to mean a summer fishing trip to a different state and try your hand at a blue ribbon fishery that’s been on your bucket list for a few years. My impetus for today’s post is different.

Fall Flyfishing on Metolius | www.johnkreft.com

Since we fish our home waters several days each week, I like to switch up where to fish. I enjoy walking along the river watching for rising fish. I’ve been rewarded by finding new fishing spots. If you see me on the river, you’ll think I constantly fish the same spots, but I do move around. Frequently, how to select where to fish means what section of the river we should go to.

Our morning routine goes something like this…

Me: Wanna go to the river today?

Her: Sure. What time should we leave?

Me: Doesn’t matter to me. I need to get a couple things done (like this post). How about we plan to leave around noon and see if we can find a few fish rising to PMDs.

Her: OK, sounds like a plan.

We each accomplish our planned tasks and begin to get ready shortly before the appointed time. Into the van and down the road we go towards the river. As we arrive at the turnoff, I usually ask…

Me: Where do you want to fish today?

Her: Hmmm, it doesn’t matter to me.

Me: How about downstream and try fishing at #$$##?

Her: We tried that a few days ago and didn’t see one fish rise. You think it would be different today?

Me: I don’t know. We could park at #$#$# and walk past where we fished yesterday and see if there are any fish rising in the #$#$## hole.

Her: There have been a lot of people fishing the river recently and opportunities are limited.

Me: I know, maybe we can check out #$#$## and then walk back and check the usual places if we can’t find fish.

That’s about how our exchange goes on a daily basis.

Planning our annual fly fishing road trips is similar. We’ve been fortunate to fish several states and different waters in each of them. When we started our road trips, I had a list of rivers I’d read about and wanted to check out. I really don’t have a “bucket list”, but the concept might be the same.

In the early years, I used Montana’s Best Fishing Waters to select where to fish. The detailed maps helped in the initial planning and then I paged through a couple of guidebooks like the Flyfisher’s Guide to Montana. I found them invaluable to narrow where to fish on a particular river and try to match hatches with when I could get time off work.

Or maybe reading how to select where to fish means choosing a lake vs. a river. Here in Central Oregon we have a wide variety of fisheries to choose from. Did you fish East Lake yesterday and want to switch it up and give the Lower Deschutes a try for steelhead? Perhaps that’s what you thought reading the title.

I’m headed to the river now…where do you want to fish today?

Enjoy…go fish!

(John Kreft is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)

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  1. You left out a couple of critical questions of late.
    1. How much gas do I have in the truck
    2. Who, in town, has the cheapest gas.
    I have a lot of places I would like to go fish but just can’t justify the travel cost. Gas in Oregon went up 50 cents a gallon this past week. We are back over $5/gal at the cheapest station.

  2. Living on the Bitterroot….I feel your pain with that decision process.
    Do I drive to other fisheries or just explore all the miles of river right in my back yard?!

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