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6. Targeting Steelhead Around Boulders Effectively (6 of 15)

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 NOTHING is 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 rivers 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. Often times they allow steelhead access to water that otherwise would be too quick. It allows those fish to sit in good cover, often mid river while they comfortably rest.

So how do we present a fly effectively around boulders?