River Conditions vs. Presentations

Conditions should impact your tackle choices

Knowing the conditions of the water color, clarity and water levels is important to a fisherman. This will greatly impact the sizes, colors and a variety of other factors in regards to fishing tackle and bait. This tip provides basic tackle recommendations based on water visibility/category: High, Medium & Low.

Important Note! First and foremost, this table is more geared to a species like Salmon/Steelhead. It certainly wouldn’t be applicable to small trout, bass or other species. The goal of this tip is to highlight the correlation of river visibility/conditions to the tackle/presentations you’re using. And with that in mind, you can use this same approach to other bigger/smaller species you are fishing for.

Water Visibility (Category)

6 inches – 2 feet

High Water

2-6 feet

Medium Water

>= 6 feet

Low & Clear

Presentation Sizes

Loonie – Toonie sizes

Nickel – Quarter sizes

Single Egg – Dime sizes

Hook Sizes

1/0 – 4/0 hooks

1-2/0 hooks

2-4 hooks (avoid “flashy” hook colors)


– 10-18 inch leaders
– 15 lb leader weight (no need to go lighter)

– 18-24 inch leaders
– 10lb – 12lb leader weight

– 24-36 inch leaders
– 8-12 lb Fluorocarbon leader material (rec Seaguar Blue Label)
– Don’t go less than 8 lb leader weight (I personally never go below 10lb)

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