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Late winter trout fishing is all about temps


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And not just air temps, but water temps as well. Many anglers are easily frustrated when they hit local trout streams on warm days like we have on the horizon. They see hatches of midges and little black stoneflies coming off or crawling on the snow, but the trout aren’t on the feed.  The problem is often melting snow cooling the water and making it rise that throws the trout off. Remember, they are cold blooded and water temps below 50 mean they slow down their metabolism to adjust. The colder the temp, the less they need to eat. And more cold water from the melt coming down while they are trying to conserve energy means they will really hunker down. 
 

Sometimes it’s best to fish that first warm day before the snow melt drops water temps further. And sometimes it’s just best to wait it out until most of the snow along your favorite trout stream is melted.  We often get freezing temps for a few days followed by warmer days, so you really need to pick your spots if you want to catch them feeding on the first decent hatches of the new year. 

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2 hours ago, Bucksnbows said:

And not just air temps, but water temps as well. Many anglers are easily frustrated when they hit local trout streams on warm days like we have on the horizon. They see hatches of midges and little black stoneflies coming off or crawling on the snow, but the trout aren’t on the feed.  The problem is often melting snow cooling the water and making it rise that throws the trout off. Remember, they are cold blooded and water temps below 50 mean they slow down their metabolism to adjust. The colder the temp, the less they need to eat. And more cold water from the melt coming down while they are trying to conserve energy means they will really hunker down. 
 

Sometimes it’s best to fish that first warm day before the snow melt drops water temps further. And sometimes it’s just best to wait it out until most of the snow along your favorite trout stream is melted.  We often get freezing temps for a few days followed by warmer days, so you really need to pick your spots if you want to catch them feeding on the first decent hatches of the new year. 

Geez. You would think that @Bucksnbowsknows a little something about trout and or everything that has to do with one?? ;)

Good stuff Brian....

Edited by LPJR
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11 hours ago, Bucksnbows said:

And not just air temps, but water temps as well. Many anglers are easily frustrated when they hit local trout streams on warm days like we have on the horizon. They see hatches of midges and little black stoneflies coming off or crawling on the snow, but the trout aren’t on the feed.  The problem is often melting snow cooling the water and making it rise that throws the trout off. Remember, they are cold blooded and water temps below 50 mean they slow down their metabolism to adjust. The colder the temp, the less they need to eat. And more cold water from the melt coming down while they are trying to conserve energy means they will really hunker down. 
 

Sometimes it’s best to fish that first warm day before the snow melt drops water temps further. And sometimes it’s just best to wait it out until most of the snow along your favorite trout stream is melted.  We often get freezing temps for a few days followed by warmer days, so you really need to pick your spots if you want to catch them feeding on the first decent hatches of the new year. 

So what the best color Powerbait to match the hatch in cold water :rofl:

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What Brian says here matches my own observations made 20 years ago on a limestoner just off of 78 in PA.  I had been having a blast catching them all winter but was totally skunked on an uncharacteristically warm (60F ish) day.  The creek was also running very high, was dirty and cold which I realized was due to snow melt.  After that I always was reluctant to go on warmer days when there was also a lot of snow on the ground.  
 

I used to fish all winter through then in really cold conditions (guides freezing etc - cleated wading booted were a must) and a lot of trout that I caught on nymphs always had a really soft lame take that honestly made me think that I was really snagging them in the mouth instead of genuinely inducing a take.  
 

Nowadays, if I fish in the winter it is just to get peace and quiet and a break from being in the house, TBH.

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