Trout Feeding Zones
Trout have the ability to hold in slow to moderate current without swimming or
expending a great amount of energy. They manage to do this a lot like birds do
when they are gliding in the wind without moving their wings. When they are
feeding, trout find the areas where the current concentrates the insects. Anglers
call these places drift lines. Trout will position themselves somewhere along
these drift lines. There they will hold their position and stay focused on what is
referred to as their “window of vision”. They must seek an area of the stream to
hold in where the current is not strong. If they didn’t they would expend more
energy than they could take in. Most often, they accomplish this by seeking a
depth where the current is slowed down by obstructions upstream, usually rocks
Sometimes they are able to position themselves on the slow side of the drift line.
The current in the drift line above or to the immediate side of the trout may be
moving along rather fast but the trout is usually positioned in slow to moderately
moving water where they can view objects that come into their window of vision. If
that food is in the form of nymphs, larvae or pupae drifting underwater, then the
distance at which the trout can view it depends on several factors. The
underwater background, amount of available light, clarity and speed of the water
are just a few of them. Normally, in very clear water with good light, they are able
to detect the movement of objects that are within several feet of them. Objects on
the surface are viewed entirely different.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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