Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to adjust strategies for different water clarity.

These strategies are not the be all, end all, strategies of water clarity, but techniques that I have found productive & consistent. They were developed from 10yrs of full time guiding, books I've read, & other guides. One book I distinctly remember helpful, was Small Mouth Bass a handbook of strategies, the 1st addition was published in the 80's. Even though it focus is on Small Mouth, the water condition strategies, apply to most game fish, including Rainbow & Brown Trout.

Clear Water:
  1. The Clearer the water the smaller the tippet or Line.
  2. Small Flies or Lures (#18-#24 Flies) or (1/8, 3/16 oz Lures)
  3. Natural Fly & Lure colors (midge, emergers, hares ear, flies & (craw-fish, shad colored spinners)
  4. Subtle Colors (white, yellow, brown, black)
  5. Fish moving water for Trout & agitate the fly, for other fish & lures use a swimming retrieves.
  6. Presentation & longer casts (staying further away from target lies or structure)
  7. Minimum noise & stealthy approach.
  8. Lower light conditions preferred

Stained Water

  1. In- between conditions
  2. Fish have mixed reactions based on amount of stain in water (experiment with sizes & colors)
  3. In general lean towards dark water techniques

Dark Water

  1. Heaver tippet or line is acceptable
  2. Larger Flies or large bulky lures
  3. Lighter colored flies or multi-colored lures
  4. Bright colors
  5. Slower bottom bumping retrieves
  6. Shorter cast are exceptable
  7. Bright light condition are better

There are many other conditions that will effect the fishing, but you will find if you use these strategies constantly you're catch rate will improve.

Bill Higdon