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  1. #1

    Default Where do they go?

    A buddy and I hit our local river this past weekend for two days and it was a complete skunk. I have never had this happen before. We didn't even SEE fish. We hit spots that I could swear would HAVE to hold a fish or two. The water was very clear and we covered a ton of area searching for fish. We poked between rocks, scouted from high rocks looking for movement, fished deep slow runs, and everything else we could think of to at least spook a fish to see if they were around. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I can't figure out if they have just moved to areas we didn't fish or if they were so hunkered down in between large rocks that they wouldn't budge even though we deliberately would try to spook any trout after fishing a pocket or area to see if they were there. Ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    SE Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    I always wondered the same thing. Like fishing some rivers where in colder months you catch walleye/perch/musky but in the warmer months you only catch Smallmouth bass. Where do the fish go? I don't know that any of those species, trout included, that migrate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    Trout will migrate great distances to find the most favorable conditions.
    On one of my local rivers there's a single pool where fish will stack up like cord wood in winter.
    A fisheries biologist once told me that the trout migrate from as much as five miles in each direction just to winter over in that one pool.
    The same thing happens in the warmest weather.
    One day the whole river will be alive with fish, only a few days later they've all moved on.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Boise, Idaho

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    Perhaps someone as thorough as you was there on Friday.

    "Every [child] has the right to a first fish. On this particular planet, no man is granted a greater privilege than to be present and to assist in the realization of this moment". Bill Heavey

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Sheffield UK

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    If they haven't moved far they will be holed up in deeper water with less flow to save energy. Undercut banks are a favoured place if there is deep water there.There is less food available at this time of year so they will try to preserve their condition for breeding, in order to be more successful.
    I don't feed the fish in my pond once the temperature falls, they don't lose condition even if not fed for 5 months and there are some over 24", grown on from 4" tiddlers on the same regime.
    The fish are most likely there but not inclined to grab a bit of fluff. that's life.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Knoxville, TN

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    The answer may be in your post, “the water was very clear.”

    I know in the Smokies where the water is gin clear most of the time, the fish see you first and become spooked. This is especially true if the water you were on is populated with wild fish but even stockers will get spooked too.
    Mainline the blueline

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    "should have been there yesterday" Story of my life.

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    I can't trout fish in the winter but in the heat and drought of summer some of the trout creeks I visit also seem to be void of fish. I'm sure they stack up in some holes to seek cool spring water, but I can never find them after August.

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  14. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    This has been discussed extensively on a site for SM bass anglers. Guys say the SM's too will move great distances to find favorable conditions. One fellow has mentioned something similar to what Rip said, about a hole on a river where they stack up in the colder months. It's highly probable that other fish do the same in some areas, but it's not noticed unless there's someone out there fishing for them.

    I used to see bass in a river in MD, along where I hunted, that would sit in spots near deep water when the Sun would warm up that spot. I remember one spot very well as I often saw several bass there on a warmer Sunny day. There was a big stump at that hole too, and and undercut bank, even though they could be found there in the warmer months, they wouldn't be concentrated.

    Even though fish are cold blooded and their metabolism slows, they're still going to feed some and want some degree of comfort if they can find it, so the only way that will happen is if they move to a location that provides what they need.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  16. #10

    Default Re: Where do they go?

    I the heat of summer trout will seek out colder, more highly oxygenated water around springs and faster flowing minor tributaries.

    In winter, they go to Florida.


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