Long has the debate raged about the effects of different weather patterns on fish and their feeding activities. My favorite fishing adage is: When in doubt, blame the weather. This has served me well in the past, especially when guiding on difficult days. Apart from the obvious effects, like temperature and wind, there are the less tangibles events like the effect of the full moon, and a rising or falling barometer. Having just retuned from a trip to California, I came back to Salida to fishing stories full of doom and gloom – too bright, too hot, too windy, too much moon etc etc etc. So what more can a guy do except get out there and find out for himself.
There is no doubt I dislike fishing in the wind, but it is one of those things that you either have to deal with on a regular basis, or else take up bowling. Bright sunlight too is a bit of a turn off, but then again you need to be careful what you ask for if you start cursing too much sunshine in your life. Besides, Colorado is definitely not the place to live if you have an aversion to sunny days. The full moon theory is an interesting one. Personally, I don’t subscribe to it too seriously. I’ve had some lousy days fishing around the full moon, but some spectacular ones also. Barometric pressure is a bit more problematic. The best advice I’ve read on the subject is from a book by Norman Marsh, one of the doyens of New Zealand fly fishing. After discussing all the theories and conjecture about the effects of a rising and falling barometer on fish feeding patterns he concluded by saying “So before you go fishing, always check your barometer. And then go fishing anyway.”
And so I did. I figured that Sunday was a lovely day, the river looks beautiful, so how bad could it be? And I had a lot of fun. To be sure, I wouldn’t call the fishing spectacular, but it was definitely productive. I had to try a number of different patterns before getting the combo right. I started with a hopper, switched to a stimulator, then downsized to an ant. Then I noticed a half decent pmd hatch coming off, and tied on a caddis and an adams. This combo in reality is my default dry fly combo on the Arkansas, so it is no surprise it worked well.
That said, I did cover a lot of ground for relatively few fish landed, but as the video shows, I had plenty of opportunity. And as soon as fishing becomes a numbers game, it’s another pointer to take up bowling. Too much of the slothful life in California had dulled my senses and…… actually, if I am honest, I probably missed about as many fish as I usually do. Anyone who tells you they hook them all has trouble separating fact from fiction.
And so I am glad I roused myself from the couch and got out there. The wind makes it difficult at times to get the fly positioned and drifting naturally, but if it were easy it’d be called spin fishing. There is still a decent amount of bug activity on the water, so keep changing things around until you find something that works. And remember, no matter how tough the fishing, a day on the river is always better than living in Houston.