In fly fishing parlance, pocket water is a hole in the stream, usually behind a large boulder, where the water is still and protected from the current. You see, trout are lazy by design, especially cutthroat trout. They like to sit in the pocket water, conserving energy, waiting for food to float by or bugs to drop onto the surface of the calmer water.
After 35 years of fly fishing, I can immediately size up a section of stream, especially one with lots of pocket water, and determine the most likely spots that the trout are resting. Fly fishing the Lamar River in the Lamar Canyon section of Yellowstone offers plenty of opportunity to target the lazy but hungry cutthroat trout resting in the pocket water, the trick is to gently cast your fly and let it naturally bounce off the rock and into the honey hole.
Fishing pocket water is fun. It's easy when you know how to spot the right boulders. And even in an area like Yellowstone, known for its highly technical meadows and legendary big rivers, I’ll seek out the lesser fished waters and drop flies into the pocket water all day long, knowing that the reward is the chance to gaze upon that bright cadmium red slash just below the mouth of the cutthroat trout.