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This is the second episode of our two part discussion on angler pressure. Last time, we talked about how fishing pressure affects the fish — how they respond to more fishermen placing more casts and drifts in the waters around them — how trout change, both short term and long term.
And now, we’re building on those thoughts and offering some solutions. Because if trout are adapting their habits in response to us, then we must modify our own approach to stay one step ahead of the fish.
I used that phrase in the last podcast a couple of times too. And it’s a good way to think about it. Our fishing is based on fooling a trout. What are they looking to eat? How can we attract them to a fly and then convince them to eat it, right? And while you might have the methods and flies necessary to fool your local trout right now, it might not work just a few years from now. Because trout and the rivers they live in are always changing. So our approach must keep changing too. It’s just another aspect of trout fishing that makes it all so wonderfully complicated.
It’s also why we like to fish for wild trout . . .
We Cover the Following
- Water selection
- Finding fresh fish
- Wild vs Stocked response to angler pressure
- How long until a trout resets from angler pressure
- Genetically passing on the effects of angler pressure
- Presentations, convinced or curious?
- Patterns, natural or attractive?
- . . . and more
READ: Troutbitten | Front Ended — Can We Stop Doing This to Each Other?
READ: Troutbitten | Natural vs Attractive Presentations
READ: Troutbitten | Why Everyone Fishes the Same Water and What to Do About It
PODCAST: Troutbitten | Rude On the River — Front Ended and the Golden Rule
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Season Seven of the Troubitten Podcast continues with episode three, next week. So look for that one in your Troutbitten Podcast feed.
Fish hard, friends.
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Enjoy the day.
T R O U T B I T T E N
I have a data point on fish reset. Fall fishing a light hatch on alberta’s old man river. Wild cuts no other fishers for miles. I break off a fish at the strike, maybe just under a foot long on my own tie. An hour later on the way back up i try the spot again. This time i caught him using the same pattern. On the other corner of his mouth is the fly i lost. I had never fished within miles of this spot before. Love your work!
Remember the McMurray ant, they were killer for 1 year and then they went extinct!! 1977 they were on fire.
I’ve got a couple of observations from our local rivers.
There’s one very easily accessed stretch of river at the mouth of a large lake, which more or less ‘resets’ every day. It doesn’t seem to matter how many anglers were there the day before, the prime lies always seem to be refilled, and I’ve always got good catch rates and pretty good sized fish from there. However, you rarely get more than a hundred metres or so of the river to yourself. What can start as a great day can go quiet very quickly once you start overlapping ground covered by other groups. That said, the impact isn’t as bad when the river is running higher, as not only do people wade less, but the popular spots do seem to attract less skilled anglers.
On the other rivers in my area (not connected to any lakes), there’s a lot of variation in how heavily they’re fished, and I often get a day’s worth of river to myself (and whoever I might be fishing with). However, on the occasions we do overlap with an angler (or group) that started downstream of us (evidenced by either fresh footprints or by catching up to them), there’s a marked difference in catch rate when the flow levels are down compared to during higher flows.
As noted in the podcast too, there’s often a bit of a reset in the evening too, with the trout coming on to bite in that last hour or so before dark. To expand on this observation, this seems to happen regardless of flows or fishing pressure, even if there’s not a hatch happening. The fish just magically seem to materialise in stretches of water that appeared to be empty before. Proof that the fish are always there somewhere, whether you’re seeing/catching them or not.