Oh yes, the rain we need!
Warm sunny days will return in a day or two. Last weekend river temperatures held at 64 Fahrenheit. That is cool for this time of year. But the rivers were at their summer low as we still experience the summer water evaporation. Sharply below the banks, yet the water was well within the trouts feeding range.
Why so many refusals? Dozens in one evening of fishing. Jim and I tried every fly in the box. Still more refusals. What were we doing wrong. Past years I have always struggled with trout refusing the fly, but I blamed it on the very warm mid summer water temperatures. Near 70 F. Thus only the Rainbows were biting. Yes, water levels were low, but that should put the trout in deep holes. Feeding should not stop! Water temperatures were perfect. Yet refusals were the norm.
Let's take an educated guess. What's different? What would change behavioral patterns in the trout. Could it be their hormonal change to the spawning season coming in just few weeks?
All other facets of the trout feeding patterns are good. Rainbow Trout are still feeding, however they went through their pre-spawning behavior last April. The Brown and Brook Trout are changing now. It is a taxing time for them, egg and milt development, physical changes in color and jaw. It must be an awkward time for them. Feeding behavior changes. First it slows down, then I notice that late summer smudging and porpoise takes begin.
I am rethinking these mid-summer refusals, not warm water temperatures but rather pre-spawning behavior.
Late August the rivers generally cool and begin to rise in level as evaporation slows. The Brown and Brook Trout seek out gravel parts of the river bed to build their redds. September has always been my favorite time of the trout season, lots of big trout. So what's this refusal period all about? I am now saying the pre-spawning behavior vs. the summer heat...what's your theory?
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.