Saturday, April 2, 2011

Plunge Pools

A mountain freestone stream, and a series of plunge pools

Some of the most productive areas of small streams are the plunge pools. These are the areas where large stones, fallen trees, and washed up debris cause the water to rush over the top and create a turbulent pool. These pools create a safe haven for wild trout from predators, and tend to wash in considerable food to always hungry trout. The broken water also helps to camouflage hiding trout.
Plunge pools while being productive places, also take there share of flies, and many can be lost in a few hours of fishing.

These are several types of plunge pools found on freestone streams

Trout will also dart from pool to pool chasing a fly

This one little pool always gives up a nice wild brookie.

The Ausable Bomber is a great fly to use when fishing plunge pools. Its heavy hackle and white calftail wing make it highly visable and float very well.

The Ausable Wulff, which I tie with a yellow wing, is a very productive fly.

And when things go right, when the fly gets sucked under and does not snag, chances are a wild brookie might come to hand.

And whats better after a day fishing plunge pools. A hot crock of Baked French Onion Soup.


  1. Mmmm... I could go for a bowl of soup right now, and a few plunge pools.

  2. A fishy looking pool...a perfectly tied fly...a willing taker...french onion soup...4 things to make one happy!

  3. Some great information. I love fishing these pools. For me, I love fishing a Humpy or Wulff. They float well and take a beating. Brookies have some sharp little teeth!


  4. I know right where to go to hit some of those plunge pools. That is a new definition for me.

    Whitetail Woods™
    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  5. John,
    A good steak may be hearty, but it's the soup that will fill all the cracks.

  6. smokinprice,
    The humpy is a great choice, and those brookies teeth are like pike.

    Rick K,
    As a deer hunter I'm sure you have come upon a few pools in the woods.

  7. BT,
    How do you fish these small pools? If one uses a 9 foot leader, i can't imagine having more than a foot or two of actual fly line out of the tip top. Would you just kind of flip the leader out and consider this the cast? In the past I have fished plunge pools, and felt that i'm just dangling the fly above the spot where I want to place it, and just setting it down on the water, but never had much success with this approach. Also, if fishing in such close proximity to the fish, is there a big risk of spooking them, or in your experience are they not that easy to put down?
    You have a interesting blog, i like it alot. Thanks BT

  8. I'm not even hungry and I could eat some of that soup. Looks yummy.


  9. Brk Trt..what size hook do you use when tying these particular flies? thanks

  10. Cliff,
    I generally fish with a 7ft leader. I fish these pools from an upstream approach. There is not much casting involved, a roll cast at times. I'll flip out the fly and strip off line and allow the fly to drift downstream until it reaches the pool and drifts down through it.The hits come generally when the fly is pulled under and then allowed to pop back up.
    Thank you for the comment on the blog, and visit often.

    With all that winter weather you have been dealing with, hot soup has got to be good.

  11. I am taking notes and I'll add them to the bulging journal......thanks for the info.

  12. As always, great post and beautiful pics!

  13. found a great little brookie stream last night down here in hamden. was out with a friend chasing a coon hound and he led us to some pretty water. can't wait for a day to fish it. i coach high school baseball and it cuts into prime fishing time. i will find time maybe saturday dave in north haven

  14. penbayman,
    The Bombers and Wulffs are tied on Mustad 9671, and I tie them in size 12, 14, 16, with the 14 being the best producer.

    Your welcome. Those note will come in handy

  15. Kiwi,

    That's a great find. I'll be waiting for a report.