There's something alluring about bridges. I always expect to find a monster fish lurking in the shadows of a bridge. I guess it's from reading books like Billy Goats Gruff as a kid. Sometimes my expectations are right but even when I can't seem to find any sign of a big fish I still believe they are there. Hiding in the submerged debris just waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey.
This river had several bridges with deep pools that teased my imagination. The pools were full of fish but on this day they seemed educated. Stocked fish that have learned that danger lurks in unusual things hitting the water are fun and frustrating at the same time. Many times the fish will come with in a millimeter of your fly to either nip at a strand of marabou or turn around as quickly as they approached.
This river is heavily stocked and the trick seems to be trailing a traditional fly behind an attractor pattern. I like to try something bright pink like an egg or squirmy wormy. You'll have fish hit the attractor fly but more often than not they will hit the dropper. I have so much confidence in my soft hackle flies I find it hard to use much else as a dropper. When I have success like this it makes it even harder for me to switch things up.
Soft hackles almost always work and if they don't it's usually a matter of fishing the wrong depth. If you see fish in a pool and they don't seem to be hitting. Try adding weight instead of switching flies.