The Essence of Fishing -- Fishing is much more than casting and retrieving and playing your catch. It's the wind in your face and the sound of early morning birds as the sun peeks over the horizon. It's discovering the magic in each new place and unlocking the mysteries that lurk there, both above and below the surface.
With the changing of the seasons, trout and water activity changes as well. It is important to know what weather will bring what kind of activity and where you should be during these changes.
Spring weather means waters begin to warm and freestone rivers begin to open. Trout prefer the cold water that is beginning to warm and will begin their migration. The four weeks preceding open water will trigger trout to cruise the edges of still waters in search of food. TIP: Areas like the edge of a reservoir, inlets to lakes, and lower sections of a freestone rivers are ideal during these months.
You should have a completely different mindset for summer months. The lower and mid sections of a river will warm quickly, attracting brown trout. The headwaters and dam release areas are cooler during midday and trout will most likely migrate there. TIP: If you plan to fish all day, start low, head high, and return low.
The weather plays a large part in the fall months. Daily storms give fish the sense that it is nightfall and will start feeding. The low light makes the fish feel comfortable which will trigger them to move. Some of the best times to fish are two hours before nightfall and the first two hours in the evening. TIP: For night fishing, when you see steam on the water and every breath produces a thick cloud, ideal temperatures are close to their end and you should start thinking about heading in for the night.
During the winter months, tailwaters remain ice-free with water temperatures hovering right about 42 degrees Fahrenheit. This should be the primary area for anglers. The temperature will prevent the water from freezing and supply enough warmth to keep trout actively feeding. TIP: Start as close to the dam as possible as trout migrate upstream and accumulate in deep runs. If you are doing any kind of ice fishing, make sure it is 4" thick before walking on it 5" for a snowmobile or ATV, and 8-12" for a vehicle.
Timing is a very important tool when it comes to fishing. Once you know what to look for during the seasons, you can target the key temperatures trout need throughout the day, and be a successful fisherman.
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