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"Nervous water" is a term commonly used in fly fishing to describe the surface disturbance created by fish feeding just below the water's surface. When fish are actively feeding on insects or other prey, they may create subtle ripples or disturbances on the water's surface, which can indicate their presence to observant anglers. These disturbances are often described as "nervous water" because they betray the otherwise calm surface of the water, signaling the activity of fish below. Anglers use this visual cue to target their casts and present their flies or lures effectively to the feeding fish.

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