Archive for December 2012

tis the season… smile   2 comments

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It’s all about smiles, joy, peace.  I am blessed with smiles everyday I am on the water.  Lot’s of folks have graced the lens of my camera with stunning smiles.  It’s not really about the fish, it’s about the time spent on the water (peace) and time spent with friends.  I’m just lucky to be a part of it.

I don’t take it for granted.  Nope, I try to soak in every second.  Surviving prostate cancer will do that to you.  Every sunset is a little more colorful, lasts a bit longer, and lingers on my mind til the next one.  Yup, I’m blessed.

Here’s to you being blessed as well.  Enjoy every season!

Fear No water,



Posted December 24, 2012 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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Reading, reading, reading the river……   2 comments

I figure I might as well finish the job and talk some more about how to read the river.  If you haven’t already, take a look at a 5 minute video I loaded on youtube:  It’s pretty basic, but I think it shows the foundation of river reading.  You have to find the fish, and find out what they’re eating.  It’s that basic, but that important.  Reading the river is the first step in finding fish.


The picture above illustrates how and where fish hold in the different parts of a run, couple this with why they are there, and you’re mostly done.  Obviously, what’s left is what they’re eating and at what stage is the insect of choice. That’s what I call reverse entomology and it’s for another time.
The fishes nose is pointing to where he was stationed in the run.  He was in the seam that forms the shelf below the riffle.  He ate a black midge pupa.
This fish is pointing to where he was fooled by a Pat’s Rubberleg.  He was sitting in the uppper section of the tailout.  See the riffle downstream?
Please feel free to ask questions, comment, and share this info.
Another good source for this information, and it is in much more depth, is the Fly Fishers’ Playbook.  I think you can still order one and have it for Christmas!
Fear No Water!

Run Baby Run   Leave a comment

A fair amount of people ask me how to “read the water” when I am out speaking.  The first thing I tell them is that we need to be speaking the same language.  By that, I am simply talking about how I define a run.  To me, a run is a section of the river that has a riffle, to a shelf, to a pool, to a tailout.  There can be several runs in one section of the river depending on how wide it is.  When I am on wide rivers I will divide the river horizontally to create 3 rivers (left, center, right).  Each horizontal section can have various runs.

A run can be long or short but always ends when the tailout meets the next riffle.  It’s there, you’ll find it.  So let’s break this down a bit more.  Riffles can , in my mind, be up to 3 feet deep, sometimes deeper.  It just depends on the substraight and how it flows into the pool section.  Look for a shelf between the riffle and the pool section, that will help determine the riffle section.  Riffles are magnets to feeding and spawning fish.  Riffles typically force fish to make a quick decision as to feed or not, because of water speeds.  Riffles force fish into danger and hard work.  Riffles are your friend.

The shelf sections after riffles are very productive.  Fish lean on the safety and calmness of the shelf to pick off tons of bugs dislodged in the riffle above.  Plenty of prime lies in this section for sure.  The trick with a shelf is to place your flies high enough on the shelf to hit the right depth as you drift over it without snagging the riffle itself.  In other words, you want your flies to present at the proper depth as you flow onto and over the shelf.

The pool is a place where you will find fewer feeding fish.  This is typically a “safe” lie area, or what I call the “pouting” area.  I see a lot of fish we hook in the riffle and the shelf end up pouting in the deeper calm of the pool.  On occasion we’ve hooked fish in the pool, but I don’t waste much time on them if they aren’t actively feeding.  Keep an eye on them because if you witness a fish swim upstream from the pool to the shelf, it’s game on!

Next is the tailout.  I see a bunch of people disregard the tailouts.  Either they don’t recognize it, or they don’t have much luck there.  I will specifically target tailouts at certain times of the day.  We hook some of our biggest fish in tailouts.  As the bottom of the river starts to incline back up to the next riffle, the water compresses to create a bug bonanza.  I find fish , some of the bigger ones at that, will move into a tailout to eat spent dries or key on emergers on the swing.  That’s why you have to hit them at the right times.


 If you look carefully, you can see I am working the shelf between the riffle and the pool.

It’s all in The Playbook!

Fear No Water!


Posted December 11, 2012 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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John and Fred.   2 comments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had the honor to guide two absolutely great people this past week. John and Fred.  These are the kind of folks that after we spend time on the river, we become friends.  Just good people.  Pictured to the left is the first fish Fred has caught with a fly rod.  Made it look easy.  This fish ate a stone fly nymph imitation (size 12 Pat’s Rubberleg).  Yup, that’s good news, means the flows have come up, and fish food is being knocked about.  Nice feeesh!








Here’s Fred with another fish and John to the left.  John and I have fished together before.  He is a decent stick and a dang nice dude. 

Let me remind everyone to fish through the entire drift, from the initial stage through the swing stage.  I swear, if done properly, you should pick up about a third of your fish on the swing.  Fish it all the way and position set at the end.  If you need more explanation, feel free to comment.

Gotta be slated for some snow someday….Soon I hope!

Happy Holidays, and remember, the Fly Fishers Playbook will fit neatly into any fly fishers’ stocking!

Til next week,

Fear No Water!

Posted December 3, 2012 by duaneredford in Uncategorized