Monday, April 25, 2011

How to Fish Good Part One--When

 How to Fish Good Part One--When

Well, since English is my third language I can misuse it, right?  Today's quiz is what do the wildflowers above have to do with fishing?  I fly fish lakes for trout.  My comments might or might not apply to other species or trout in streams.   Since they are generic most of these tips will work with other species.

The keys to fishing are when, where, and how.  Today we will cover when.  This is really the most important fishing skill.  When I moved to a very small town with lots of fishing I asked around to find the best fisherman in town.  It turned out to be the barber.  So I paid my money, settled in the chair and started asking questions.    As most barbers he was talkative and willing to share his secret.  He fished one lake for two months every spring.  That was his secret.  He only fished when the fish were most active and feeding and he got to know his lake real well. 

If you are fishing when fish are feeding.  You will catch fish.  It is as simple as that. 

Fish are cold-blooded creatures.  Their metabolism is regulated by water temperature.  Which really means they eat lots when temperature is just right, and much, much less when water temperature is cold or hot.  This little instrument keeps track not only of water temperature, but everything else that at one time has been thought to influence fishing.

For trout their optinum temperature is around 55 degrees and the fishing should be fairly decent between 50 and 62 degrees.  Once above 62 fishing not only slows down, but at 70 degrees you are pretty much killing every trout you hook!!

For Largemouth Bass their temperature range is between 62 and 75 degrees with optinum at 73 degrees.  Looks like when trout fishing slows down it is time to switch to bass.

There is one other critical factor and that is dissolved oxygen in the water.  However, this is difficult or expensive to measure.  I remember for my project in my college ecology class titrating chemicals while in a small rowboat.  That is not recommended.  I did learn a lot about the relationship between temperature and dissolved oxygen levels.  And it really did help me become a better fisherman.

You can get a dissolved oxygen meter for around $200.  I took a pass on that and use the stream thermometer on the right.  I carry it in my fly vest.

Fish and Wildlife Departments know all about temperature and fish feeding.  They generally schedule "opening" days of fishing season around the lower optimum temperature range.  That way they sell more fishing licenses and the fisherman get to catch more fish.  If you are traveling and unsure of when to fish check the opening dates on regulation page.

For states with "multiple" openers or lakes that open on different months always try to fish close to the opener.  For trout, the lakes have the maximum population and you will catch fish.  So here in eastern Washington I fish the year round lakes just prior to the March 1 opener, then switch to the March 1st lakes.

Another batch of lakes opens April 1.  Switch to fishing those.  Later lakes open on June 1, September 1 and December 1.  Keep following those dates and you will catch plenty of fish.  If you are a beginner fisherman follow the calender and start catching fish!

Oh, those pretty yellow flowers are called Arrowleaf Balsam Root and they bloom just as trout fishing gets really good on the lakes of eastern Washington.  So if  these flowers are out GO FISHING.  Here is more information from the Forest Service Wildflower Site.


giantspeckledchihuahua said...

Good stuff! fishing for my dinner is one of the activities I hope to enjoy when I hit the road!

Vladimir Steblina said...

Dinner is great, but I love eastern Brook Trout for breakfast with eggs.

Any bass is great...largemouth, smallmouth, or striped for dinner.

Catfish is good. I loved fishing (eating)for catfish in Lake Mohave.

Besides fish is good for your health.