Where To Find Salmon And Steelhead (3 of 11)
When salmon and steelhead move up a river, they're generally trying to move fairly quickly. Of course, they remember their youth and how, in these rivers, there are predators. Eagles and ospreys are constantly on the lookout for careless fish. So they're looking for structure and riffles to hide beneath and, of course, deep water channels. As anglers, we need to focus on locations where salmon and steelheads are likely to hold on the journey. These holding spots not only give them cover but also a slight break from the current so they can rest.
Key locations to look for them are current breaks where you see fallen trees, rocks and boulders, ledges, and drop offs. Salmon and steelhead also love holding in seams. Seams are places where slow water and faster water meet. Another important place to look is at the heads of pools, just where a riffle or fast water begins and also at the tail of the pool. Fish will hold at the head of the pool, getting ready to move through.
At the tail of the pool, the fish are resting after already fighting through swift currents below. Both are excellent lies to swing a fly because they're high percentage locations. Both salmon and steelhead will likely use both in their migration. My favorite location to find fish is at the tail of a pool where fish are usually funneled into a small area. For Atlantic Salmon, this is often a great place to use a dry fly.