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Old 03-26-2010, 11:15 AM
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Default Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

Situation: 45 - 55deg air temp. heavy overcast with hanging mist/fog. Early spring in Southeastern united states. Fast water river 40 to 60' wide with successions of 2 - 3' deep riffle, small falls, aver. 6 - 7' deep pools and more riffle sections.

Rain comes and goes with 1 hour or more in between.

Question: Is there a general rule about where trout may move to in the above situation between/before/after rain showers?

I fished some of the same scenario a couple weeks ago and expect more like it this weekend. I noticed and fished trout moving up out of pools into the heads or even into the tails of the riffle sections during the rain. They were hitting caddis topwater and ignoring caddis pupa and other nymphs they had been hitting while the rain was stopped....but the number of hits between nymph and dry went down. I believe the trout had mainly moved somewhere else and I was getting hits from the few. I know there were at least 7 visable in the pool till the rain started and they left during the rain and returned soon after it ended.

I know it could be anything, I'm simply wondering if there is a general rule about the movement I only know of one general rule. trout use rain on the surface as shelter and will take drys in the rain. is there other rules about this or observations anyone here has made.

thanks for any input!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

JJ, I have fished in the rain a bit, and I think it's not good for bugs to emerge and get hammered by a raindrop!(especially Mays) If a hatch is interupted by big drops, it may suspend for a while. The question is, how do the bugs know what is going on outside the water? Fish will follow a bug to the surface to eat, but if the bug's not there why would the fish stay in the same mode. I have seen hatches (and fishing) begin and end on rain showers, and have enjoyed waiting, for the rain to end and the fun to start.
I think we need to think like a bug, and the fish will follow.

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Old 03-26-2010, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

Another thought.....I've seen good hatches come off in some really nasty weather where the bugs got pounded by rain and/or wind and the fish went crazy because the weather forced the bugs to stay in the surface film.
Colder weather in itself can also extend the time period it takes for some insect to dry their wings after emerging, therefore they drift on the surface for an extended period of time making them more vulnerable to the feeding fish.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

thanks for those points guys,

the rain a couple weeks ago was light but I wouldn't have switched to dry except after the second hard/noisy hit on my indicator.... I couldn't resist. The action was definitely subsurface accept during the rain.

I've got a Dry Caddis pattern size 12 that has foam in it along with the normal ingredients. I've already carded up a couple casts with the Dry caddis, and emerger 2.5 foot after and then size 18 nymph on 3' of 7X with a bit of weight on the leader and a bead head to get it down. I plan to seach different sections around and through the rainy spots of the day with this to find out.

Caddis will be hatching but were also about at the mayfly hatch (fingers are crossed).

should be a fun experiment.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

7x? 4x floro will do fine for the back dropper man!
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

Well, it was a wet day. Light rain with some HEAVY times and a few 30 min spots with nothing coming down. My son stayed home so I was on my own and focused.

I started with the three fly (dry, emerger, nymph) setups that I had ready and caught two bows by 10:30am on the #18 pheasant tail nymph. then about 11:15 I got my first hit on the dry. it was a missed strike but soon after my rig nested badly after catching a leaf in the back stroke. While retying the leader making 9ft again, I noticed a pretty heavy hatch of #24 sized midges and from then till 2pm I fished an all black griffeth's gnat. I landed four 8" -> 9" brookies and had so many missed strikes my nerves were frayed by 1:40. It was awesome. first, there were maybe 7 - 9 of them in a 1' deep, stony, medium flow rate flat about 20 feet wide and 60 feet long sippin pretty constantly unless the drizzle got too heavy. I ended up stripping down to single fly with #20 black gnat and was getting hit at every three or four casts. This was in a light drizzle with zero wind. The hatch lasted at least one hour in the first spot and when I went down stream to find my buddy it had just started there. I got more hits but only got one on and lost it. By 2:30 it was a heavy steady rain, we were cold and done but dang what day.

It had just started raining when we arrived at 9:15 and the water stayed real clear till about noonish. 45 deg air temp dropped to 40 by 2pm.

New stuff done today: observations :
- Wally world self adhsv foam cut into 2" X .5" strips make great indicators.
- it takes one hellofa dry fly to indicate for two weighted wets.
- never got one hit on any fly in the middle between the dry an the bottom nymph.
- everything caught sub surface was during a slow suspended retrieve.
- casting tiny drys to brookies is a total kick could see the fly, just the take
- heavy rain sucks the life out of me but light rain and fog is so cool to fish in...with a poncho of course!!!!

Click the image to open in full size.

Thursday - Saturday this next week (spring break for my son) we're already planned and going camping/fishing. Expecting 78deg on Thursday and 80's on Friday cooling some on Saturday.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

I can say I had one of my best Elk Hair Caddis day's fishing in a rain where water was dripping from my cap. I could see the white mouth of the trout coming up to get the fly's. It was giggle like a girl until I lost my last of 3 Caddis and I didn't have any more. I had to quit. Nerves and noticing how cold I was made it easy to say what a day..

In the same park we fish "Hatchery Trout" stocked daily. When it is foggy everything stops. I don't know what it is. Even the Woolly Buggers quit. Spin fishers still do ok but the rest of us are done till fog blows off.


Critter...

PS.. WOW what I nice pic. The colors are so bright. We don't see fish that vivid in our parks in Mo.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

Quote:
Originally Posted by futuramille View Post
Well, it was a wet day. Light rain with some HEAVY times and a few 30 min spots with nothing coming down. My son stayed home so I was on my own and focused.

I started with the three fly (dry, emerger, nymph) setups that I had ready and caught two bows by 10:30am on the #18 pheasant tail nymph. then about 11:15 I got my first hit on the dry. it was a missed strike but soon after my rig nested badly after catching a leaf in the back stroke. While retying the leader making 9ft again, I noticed a pretty heavy hatch of #24 sized midges and from then till 2pm I fished an all black griffeth's gnat. I landed four 8" -> 9" brookies and had so many missed strikes my nerves were frayed by 1:40. It was awesome. first, there were maybe 7 - 9 of them in a 1' deep, stony, medium flow rate flat about 20 feet wide and 60 feet long sippin pretty constantly unless the drizzle got too heavy. I ended up stripping down to single fly with #20 black gnat and was getting hit at every three or four casts. This was in a light drizzle with zero wind. The hatch lasted at least one hour in the first spot and when I went down stream to find my buddy it had just started there. I got more hits but only got one on and lost it. By 2:30 it was a heavy steady rain, we were cold and done but dang what day.

It had just started raining when we arrived at 9:15 and the water stayed real clear till about noonish. 45 deg air temp dropped to 40 by 2pm.

New stuff done today: observations :
- Wally world self adhsv foam cut into 2" X .5" strips make great indicators.
- it takes one hellofa dry fly to indicate for two weighted wets.
- never got one hit on any fly in the middle between the dry an the bottom nymph.
- everything caught sub surface was during a slow suspended retrieve.
- casting tiny drys to brookies is a total kick could see the fly, just the take
- heavy rain sucks the life out of me but light rain and fog is so cool to fish in...with a poncho of course!!!!

Click the image to open in full size.

Thursday - Saturday this next week (spring break for my son) we're already planned and going camping/fishing. Expecting 78deg on Thursday and 80's on Friday cooling some on Saturday.
JJ: Congrats, sounds like you had a fantastic outing!

Larry
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Q: overcast, rain and trout movement

Thanks Larry & Critter...I didn't figure out much new about trout movement but it was a great study in how hard is too hard for trout to stop actively feeding. if the drops are completely disturbing the surface of the water...eg a light rain will leave 2 - 4" spaces between that are still smooth, the heavier it rains, the less undisturbed water surface and the less trout feeding. It doesn't have to stop raining...just lighten up again some to get the feed started again.

I do believe the trout were moving out of really deep pools into shallower runs to feed (for the most part) and when there was consistant feeding on top, the subsurface actions was nill in this particular case. Subsurface didn't pickup in the heavy rain when the surface feeding stopped...it just all stopped. Those two early rainbow were the exception and they were landed before the hatch started.

It will certainly take a large number of rainy outings to settle my mind about it and then thats just this one streach of river (is an anglers mind every really "settled" about how/when/what/where?). tackle manufactures are betting that answer is no!

So many fish, so little time!
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