Originally Posted by enjaku
When looking at different fishing locations and reseaching current conditions I see a lot of information on flow data and water levels. How does that information relate to the fishability of a body of water?
This is a great question and actually has A LOT!!!! to do with how a body of water will fish. The first thing you should notice when you look at a flow chart is how high or how fast is the water flowing currently in comparison to the historical average. If you take a look at a flow chart it will have triangles below the current flow levels that will tell you what the median flow has been for the past 10 years. If the current flow is above the the 10-year median it is obvious that the flow level is higher then normal. This doesn't mean it is un-fishable it just means you need to change your tactics.
If you think about it logical if the flows have been normal for the past few months and all of a sudden they start letting water out to raise the flow then it is safe to assume that the fish are not used to that kind of flow and tend to get spooky and find cover. The insect respond the same way, they are not used to the flow and wont be as inclined to swim to the surface and hatch. Once the levels have remained consistent for a few days however they become fairly acclimated and return to normal feeding and hatching behavior.
However when the flows are higher then normal you want to go deep. The fish will hide under the bank and brush so running a streamer or a deep nymph will bring up some decent fish. The only issue I have with higher flows is wading which is why it is important to know the body of water and find out at what levels it is safe or not safe to wade.
Hope this helps.