How to Fish in a River with a Strong Current

How to Fish in a River with a Strong Current | Tips & Techniques

Angler often talks about two of their arch-rivals- one is the strong wind, and another one is the strong current. Both of them make fishing a challenging task. Unfortunately, no fishermen are like the great Harry Hoodney, who can escape any turbulence.

Hence, we always need to fight against the strong current to grab our catch. But what about befriending the tide in favor of us? Have you ever thought about it? I realize it seems absurd. But here is our masterpiece on how to fish in a river with a strong current to solve the problem of fishing against strong tide forever.

Understand The Fish Trail

The fish trail may be something new to you, but it has a far-reaching effect to become a successful fisher in the rivers, especially having a strong current. Fish trail, in general, means the path fishes follow to swim. So, what is its utility in fishing into the strong current? Here’s the answer-

Fish swims against the current from downstream to the upper stream. They face the flow at the time of swimming to negate the chance of being swept away by the tidal force. Moreover, they like to aggregate around an eddy. It helps them to stay stable as they eddy saves them from a constant struggle against the strong current.

So, find out an eddy and place your baits in its center. Fishes don’t like to go swimming in the current and, thus, will quickly be allured to your lures.

Are you wondering about what is an eddy? The following discussion will clarify everything you need to know about an eddy.


To understand the concept of an eddy, we need to have a clear understanding of fish biology. I have mentioned that fishes are most likely to avoid any strong current. There are two particular reasons behind it.

  1. If fishes go along the strong current, there are chances that it will be swept away with the current far from its original breeding and living place.
  2. Also, fishes don’t want to swim against the current all day long. Because it needs more energy, and energy is only achieved by eating more food. However, rivers have a limited supply of food for fishes.

So, fish cleverly do a trickery. They like to find a place where water doesn’t flow continuously with a strong current. The notion of an eddy comes into work for this reason.

An eddy is a place in the river where the river current slowly circulates. Consequently, river flow slows down nearby these eddies. So, fish swim around the vortex to preserve their energy.

Moreover, big fishes gather at the bottom of the eddy, expecting for some easy prey. Since water flow is almost in a vortex near the eddy, baiting in its circle is easy. It is because baits won’t be swept away, and the chances of catching big fish increase rapidly also.

So, next time you go fishing, try to find an eddy nearby these following places-

  • Near a rock
  • Wherever you find water swiveling slowly

Why Is an Eddy Essential to Fish in Strong Current?

Naturally, fishes are lazy. They don’t like to waste their energy and so stays nearby the eddy to avoid the strong current. They only move fast to go away from big fishes and for their prey. Hence, placing the bait in the center of an eddy is vital to catch fishes with ease.

Understand The Flow of The Water

In a river with a strong current, it is a little challenging to understand where you need to start your fishing. So, you might get puzzled. Moreover, the flow of water changes depending on the time and seasons of the year. So, you might feel a bit shaky to see the rapidly moving rapids and think that there are no fish at all in the river.

Hello, listen to me. I promise you will find fishes in the river despite having such strong currents capable of sweeping away the fishes. Follow these steps

  • Asses The Direction: At first, see the course of the river current is flowing. It is easy to assess since rivers universally flow from upstream to low-stream. The direction will help you know which direction the fish is swimming. It is against the current. 
  • Determine The Speed of The Current: Next, you need to assess the speed of the current. It is crucial since the current momentum will decide how fast your baits will travel. You can find out the speed at ease. First, take a few leaves or grass. Throw it into the river water and start counting. See how many seconds it took to travel a distance of 30-40 meters. It will give you a decent idea about how fast your salmon eggs or plastic baits will go.

I guess I need not remind you that fishes are smart, and they would like to see if the baits are real. So, try to find a calm place where the current isn’t compelling and the eddy for catching some really big fish.

Selecting The Best Bait Is Essential Too

Anglers like fly fishing when it comes to fishing in the rivers with a strong current. Fly fishing is no doubt exceedingly popular and reliable because it appears like a living creature from the water. So, it lures fishes quickly.

However, not many people are fishing Gurus like Jeremy Wade. Hence, for ordinary people like us, the best way to catch a big fish is to use the most appropriate baits or artificial lures. So, I recommend you take your fishing rods to have fun in the water with a kayak.

Here are some of the most useful fishing baits for big fishes like catfish or Carps, in the strong river current-

  • Night-crawlers
  • Minnows
  • Leeches

And for small fishes, you may use-

  • Dragonflies
  • Grasshoppers

These baits should perform well to help you catch your desired fish no matter how strong the current is in the river.

How to Fish in a River with a Strong Current


Once you learn to use the river current in favor of you, it will be a blessing for you.  So, we aspire that our how to fish in a river with a strong current guide will help you catch some massive fish.

Don’t forget to tell us how those fishes tasted.

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