Timing the Water


It’s tricky to align free fishing time with ideal fishing conditions.  For most of us, work gets in the way.  I always envy those guys who have unrestricted free time to fish.  It must be nice to fish frequently during non-weekend hours.  I always wonder how those guys (who aren’t retired) pay the bills.  If I weren’t working today, I’d likely be on the water.  Yesterday’s rain nicely discolored our creeks and likely brought in some fresh fish.  Many anglers prefer a nice tinge, or slight discoloration for tributary fishing.  Fish are less easily spooked when there is some color to the water and the visibility is reduced.

Over Thanksgiving Break, I took out some of my younger family members.  It was nice to be on the water and we managed a decent brown and a brightly colored Fall rainbow.  As nice as the fish were to catch, it was equally nice to be on the water with my nephew and two sons.  It was one of those superb late Fall days, still sunny, warm and the ground was hard.  The rainbow was a dumb luck fish, as my nephew hooked it as he was practicing casting with my 4 year old son!  Several days later, we fished a local creek during the long Thanksgiving weekend.  I counted 14 anglers plying the water on a local creek and the spawning browns were more jittery than the fisherman.

IMG_4250Lake Ontario browns have been on gravel the past few weeks and the spawn is well underway.  Each fresh, push of rain should bring in a few more fish.  Some browns are now post-spawn and looking to feed again.  As things get colder, they will begin to drop back into the deeper pools.  It’s an ideal time to swing/drift streamers.  Although I carry dozens of streamers in my arsenal, it’s tough to beat simple olive bugger style or white zonker style flies for these post spawn browns.  Rain from the past few days should help our conditions.  Now, if you can just plan your work to coincide with good fishing conditions…


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Craig Dennison

This is Craig and I host Fly Fisher's Workshop. My fly fishing experiences include plenty of travel (Montana/Florida/North Carolina/Maine) and a few years part time guiding for trout. While I primarily target trout and steelhead, I still manage to chase warm water species and enjoy chasing stripers and bluefish. I'm a 3rd generation fly fisher trying to share the passion with my two sons!

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