Swinging in a downpour

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by golfman44, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. First year steelheading...sorry for the noob question

    Alright so I was on the sky at a new spot today at first light (little bit after 5am or so). Fished for a few hours and it was an absolute down pour nearly the entire time.

    Do you change tactics at all in these condition? Fish lower/higher...more flash on flies... etc? Are these times any more or less effective?
  2. Common wisdom is that when a river is on the rise it throws the bite off, but I have caught plenty of fish in downpours. In my experience it gets them moving, so I look for them in lanes of movement or closer to shore instead of traditional holding water. If the water is chalky white off-color I prefer large pink or orange rabbit fur patterns, if it's brown I use the largest black or black/blue I can cast. Something with large contrast like a black MOAL, intruder or a loop leech. The only time flash seems to have any major impact is when it's bright out and the sun is directly on the water--seems like then the more flash the better. The rest of the time I keep flash sparse regardless of water levels or clarity.
    Nooksack Mac likes this.
  3. Flyborg is right. BUT, if you're talking about simply fishing while it's raining (or downpouring) I fish it the same. Since I'm simply fishing subsurface and waiting on the "tug". But if it's been pouring for a day or so and river is on the rise, then yeah I'd say to call it off until the river drops a bit (or find a soft seam to fish in).
  4. Thanks for the replies.

    Even tho it was pouring and quite miserable out, I'm still glad I went. Didn't see a soul for a few hours, which made up for being soaking wet.
  5. I fish salmon and steelhead all fall and winter. And have had vacations where I was in the pouring rain off and on all week. Yup, days river was on the rise we worked harder for fish. But my swinging never changed. Well, except the times I had to run gear since the river came up to point it was puking chocolate milk. ;)
  6. After fresh rain and rivers drop durimg the wimter i always get diarheeaa and cant go to wrk
    CLO likes this.
  7. ya but I was talking about during the actual down pour
  8. It takes a lot of rain to cause any significant rise in water levels this time of year. I wouldn't worry about a rising river unless it's been pouring for an extended period. Some of my best summer run fishing has been when it's dumping rain on a skinny summer river. No change to my tactics.
  9. me thinks fishing will be good tomorrow
    plaegreid likes this.
  10. When the steelhead rivers are low and warm and the fish are dour, I usually hit them about three hours after the rains begin. The river may not be rising yet but there is an imperceptible (to you and I) raise in water temperature that the fish feel. They become active again and get bitey. I have always caught steelhead in these conditions. Whether it continues to rain or whether I continue to fish in the rain has no relevance as I'm usually catching fish. If the river begins turns color and/or large logs come rushing downriver towards you, I'd suggest you get out and come back another day. You've just missed prime time.

  11. lets go tomorrow, gf kicking me out of house for mimosa fridays anyways.

    Interesting...thanks Leland.
  12. i am pretty sure daniel is meeting up with me too. im off around 12 sky or stilly im down
  13. I think I'm coming down with something. Rain today, cloudy and cool tomorrow. Yup, I'm definitely gonna be sick in the morning.
    BASS_TURDS likes this.

  14. Put that guy on a damn fish so we can close his ridiculous thread!
    BASS_TURDS likes this.

  15. Nobody is going to put me on a fish except me, myself, and I. However, I do greatly enjoy good company.
    plaegreid likes this.
  16. hmmmmm, I often found some of the best fishing little bump in the flow of the Skykomish. I watched for and anticipated those little bumps on that river than any of waters up there.

  17. Your typing does not sound good. I do not think you should take a chance of getting the other people at work sick. I would call out and try to get better.
  18. It's a bit late to catch the freshet. Watch out for the logs!

  19. Something to keep in mind is that after a long period of low clear water and fishing pressure summer steelhead typically spend most of the daylight hours holding in areas of cover - log jams, under white water, deep shadows, etc. While they may back out of such areas during the hours of darkness they quickly duck back into that cover shortly after dawn (especially so if disturbed). The lower light and water surface disturbance associated with heavy rainfalls can also serve as "cover" which extends the time the fish are accessible.

    Other than the water fished no adjustment is needed in your presentation with the possible exception of more sub-surface than surface presentation.

    Experience has shown that a major exception to fishing rising water is that first fall rise after an extended period of low water and dour fish. Such conditions can produce some of the best fishing of the fall.

    BTW -
    It has been my experience that this time of year rains like we had this week often result in a lowering of the stream temperatures and "happier" fish.

    Davy likes this.

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