Monday, October 21, 2013

Rules and Conditions

They say to never fish during a full moon. Or is it always fish during a full moon? And who are "they" anyway? I really can't answer any of these questions, as a Friday trip to the Farmington made clear. Friday happened to be the day of a full moon and also a picture perfect day to fish (see photo). And after last time, I was feeling somewhat confident that this could be a good day of fishing on a blue ribbon stream. But, for some reason things just seemed off. Having generally fished less than I'd like to these days, I felt a bit rusty. Even when I warmed up I still felt clumsy. And it seemed that the trout were not interested in eating much of anything. The only fly that brought a couple fish to the net was a tiny little blue wing olive wet (size 22) that I tied on as a dropper. This fly is just a few wraps of green thread that form a minuscule body and a hint of a wing- but apparently it doesn't go unnoticed. Aside from a small brown and a gorgeous little rainbow, this fly also hooked the biggest fish of the day- which unfortunately made quick work of my 6x tippet. But I won't get into that. What was really kind of shocking was the late afternoon caddis hatch that sent hundreds of little tan sets of wings fluttering around without a rise in sight. Not a single one of them fell victim to a trout. And this was in a spot that I'm certain holds many fish. Very strange. Normally I'd chalk this all up to my own shortcomings as an angler- but no one else there seemed to be doing any better. Except for that guy using bait with the stringer of rainbows. I won't get into that either.

Weather and solunar tables have always been something I've had a hard time putting any faith in. For example, I have a beautiful antique fisherman's barometer that my wife gave me as a gift that claims to tell you when the fishing is best. Which is supposedly when the pressure is high or rising. Well, this happens to be the complete opposite of current theories that claim the reverse. I understand technology has advanced a little since this thing was made- but I can't quite account for a complete 180 on the science here. In my own experience, here in modern times, I definitely have had better fishing during the low pressure that precedes a storm or heavy rain. But not always. And I've also read that prolonged periods of high pressure can create ideal conditions for fishing. Ok then. And I can't even begin to speculate about moon phases and fishing. I have a handy little iPhone app that shows the best days of the month to fish based on the moon phase. Guess which day was rated the absolute best day for fishing this month? You guessed it: Friday.

"They" also say the best time to fish is when you can. And as my life gets more complicated, I can certainly get behind that sentiment. It's probably the only reliably true thing that can be said about this pursuit. And I'm still glad I fished on Friday, it was a fantastic day even if the fishing was slow. But, I sure could do with some consistent information on the subject of what makes fish active or not when it comes to conditions. If any of you guys have some illuminating experience with this, or otherwise, tell us about it in the comments.