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  1. #1

    Default How valuable is a thermometer?

    Most of my fly fishing is warm water, but I plan to do more trout fishing in the future. Is there much of a benefit to having a thermometer? Water temperature certainly wouldn't deter me from trying to catch fish. I either stand in it, next to it, or (if solid) on it, and then change my fishing technique accordingly. When fly fishing, does anyone utilize a thermometer and consider it essential?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    I personally have never used one, I typically go during the C&R season around here which is all winter, so I typically know what the water temp is going to be at which is Temp Frozen Balls haha

    But you say you go no matter what the conditions, so what would be the point? If you are going to go, then go and have fun!

  3. #3

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    If the temps might get high then bring one. In the winter probably not needed in the US.
    - William

  4. #4

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    I use a stream thermometer often and find it a useful item to have with me while on the streams & rivers. In the summer, I need to monitor the water temps to make sure they don't get too high. Temps in the mid-upper 60's start to get lethal for trout. I also use it to gauge where the water temps are during a particular day. If I start fishing early morning on a trout stream and the water temps are very cold, movement of a degree or two can trigger feeding activity. In addition, knowing how warm/cold the water I'm fishing will also give me an idea of the feeding lanes I can expect to find the fish. I never trout fish without one.


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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    Where water temp comes into play is fish are 'cold blooded' so take their body heat from the surrounding water. Will differ for fish but once you get much below 42 degrees 'trout types' really start going 'dormant.'

    On one level this makes it harder to catch one, in another it can make it easier. Fish will pull right into the banks and into areas of slow flows. I've actually waded out to my knees and looked down stream and had Steelhead laying between me and the bank. Fish were holding in 18" of water.

    But as to what is the water temp, more often than not you can find out before you leave the house. Almost every significant moving body of water has a flow/temp gauge on same (the Rogue has several). All you have to do is pull up the one near the water you want to fish and you'll know before you even get in the car.

    Original idea of these things was flood prediction(s). The 'green dot' indicating a gauge will be turned to a light orange if flooding is of concern. Many of the gauges will also give you a 'turbidity' so you'll even know water clarity.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

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  8. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Akron Ohio (don't let that fool you)

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    I used to carry one but it just ended up being another dodad hanging off me I didn't need. It might come in handy during the summer months, I'll keep away from trout on freestone rivers once the water starts to climb above 65.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

  9. #7

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    I have never used a thermometer but probably should, especially, since I fish predominately one river. Fishing the same river a lot would greatly increase your learning curve of understanding on how a thermometer can be of benefit.

    I was going fly fishing until my wife suggested it, now I can't tell who is outsmarting who!

    Being "one with nature" requires a knowledge of what animals are living nearby and a weapon of sufficient magnitude to give you at minimum an equal chance of survival. No one has an invisible aura that animals can detect and sense your good intentions.

  10. #8

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    I carry one and use it about 3 times a year. I used to use it often but now I know where the cold water inflows are. I think they are useful for a beginner.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  12. #9

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    I take water temps religiously. Certainly like to keep track of how warm the river gets in the summer, but I also keep track of temps in the winter on the tailwaters I guide. As stated before, all of this info goes into a log book with temps, flows, hatches, times, etc. You'd be amazed at the trends you will discover.

    On one of the tailwaters I frequent in the winter, once the water temps hit about 39 degrees the fish will begin to feed. That's good information, and helps me set-up in certain runs at certain times to put folks on feeding fish.

    As said, it's not for everyone, but knowing the temp and how to use it can be very advantageous. I use a little infrared thermometer. Just point and shoot.

    Just my .02 cents.

  13. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Snake, Clearwater and tribs

    Default Re: How valuable is a thermometer?

    I am with bash in that I carried one but it was just another thing to get in the way. Fred is right, most of the time you can check the web and get all of the info you need. I can sit down in the morning and get flows and temps for my steelhead waters while drinking coffee before heading out. One place it might come in handy is the cutthroat waters I fish in N.ID. and W.MT., but flows are much more important than temps, and I get that off of gauges.

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