I mostly fish for trout and salmon. And generally with a fly rod. So I have more to share with river fishing than I do inland or the Great Lakes.
One of the (often perceived) obstacles of river fly fishing is the cost to enter the sport. It’s true, a person could spend thousands of dollars on gear if they wanted to. But there are ways to spend less. And quite honestly, most casts in our narrow rivers and creeks don’t require much in high end gear. With the right technique, a person can catch more fish than the best gear in the world.
Also, one of my favorite patterns is a spawn egg. I’ve been fishing with those since I could ride my bike to the river - using a 6 foot spinning rod. Not to mention, I’d tie my own pattern at the river in less than a minute for a cost in the pennies. Compared to buying each egg pattern at a fly shop for $3. Plus, with my method I could change out the color faster than someone else could tie on a new fly.
So if cost seems like an issue to get started fishing for trout and salmon in the rivers, it doesn’t have to be. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Like I said before, I won’t give away all my fishing secrets, especially for trout. But here’s a really big hint, when using a fly pattern, wet or dry, make sure it looks and would move naturally in the water. I can’t tell you how many lures look like they are made to attract the fisherman more than they are the fish.
Here’s another hint, and this goes back to the balance between keeping fish or letting them go. When I was younger I would keep just about everything I caught. Nowadays I might keep a quarter of what I catch. I’m especially more picky during spawning season. But when I do keep a fish, I often cut through their belly and see what they’ve been eating. You’d be real surprised to see what you find sometimes! Few people actually look. But if you want to learn more about the fish you’re after, then it makes sense to find out what they had for breakfast.