Swinging in a downpour

golfman44

5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
#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?
 

Flyborg

Active Member
#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.
 

Jerry Daschofsky

Moderator
Staff member
#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).
 

golfman44

5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
#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.
 

Jerry Daschofsky

Moderator
Staff member
#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. ;)
 
E

Evan Virnoche

Guest
#6
After fresh rain and rivers drop durimg the wimter i always get diarheeaa and cant go to wrk
 
#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.
 

miyawaki

Active Member
#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.

Leland.
 

golfman44

5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
#11
me thinks fishing will be good tomorrow
lets go tomorrow, gf kicking me out of house for mimosa fridays anyways.


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.

Leland.
Interesting...thanks Leland.
 
E

Evan Virnoche

Guest
#12
i am pretty sure daniel is meeting up with me too. im off around 12 sky or stilly im down