One of my favorite things to do is fish new water. From famous waters known from our favorite magazine covers to unknown waters that even the locals aren't sure about. I love to explore little creeks to raging rivers. A slight suggestion here, a possible story there, or even just a blue line on a map can convince me that there's a chance.
Through some of these excursions I've learned a very important lesson in patience. Not a fishing lesson, but a scouting lesson. You see I was driving up a canyon last August in one of the Eastern mountain ranges of Utah to fish a creek that had been recommended to me by a local ATV retailer about a week before. The water at the base of the canyon was muddy, and unfishable, but once I worked my way a couple miles into the valley it cleared up and became a beautiful little trout stream full of deep holes and stretches of perfect pocket water. I immediately pulled over at the next turn off, and began to fish upstream.
Later that day I hopped in my truck and drove upstream to find another nice beat of river worth trying for the last hour of daylight. The fishing had been solid, not incredible, not bad, but good and steady. Another mile of driving saw the valley flatten out drastically and the river turn into a series of long runs drifting through meadows and beaver dams. It was perfect water, but with only an hour left I had little time to fish it. I caught some legitimately big cutthroats out of that stretch, and wish I had not wasted my time on the water below. Ever since I make it a habit of driving the length of new rivers to truly get an idea for what might be the best stretch of water.