Missouri Trout Hunter

Blog for sharing thoughts, beliefs and opinions on issues affecting the world of trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Come on Winter!

I don't know about all of you, but was October weak or what? Many of you who have been around a while have commented that the fishing seemed slower than normal this fall that during previous Autumns, and I have to agree. There have certainly been some fish caught, and when you're on the water, you're probably seeing plenty of active fish swimming around, but they just don't seem to be feeding, do they?

Here's the deal. That mini heatwave we had the first week of October did screw things up for us fishermen. How so? Well, once the water temperatures get back into the trout's comfort zone, they start feeling frisky. They don't actually start getting hormonally active (read "horny") until the water temps fluctuate, though. In other words, a brown trout likes 61 degrees, but that's not enough. The temp has to cycle up and down while staying within his comfort zone of 54 to 68. Once that happens, POW!, you have hormones. The same is true for our Autumn-spawning rainbows. That little heat wave and the following cold spell zipped the water temperature up so high and then back down so quickly that their hormones kicked into high gear. The trout pretty much skipped the pre-spawn gorging that we all look forward to and went straight into spawning mode. This is why we've had success sight fishing attractors to fish on the flats while having only spotty success with streamers in the pools. Dag nabbed fish are always throwing a curve ball at us, aren't they?

So, here's the payoff. With the earlier than normal start to active spawning behavior, we really don't know what's coming. Will they return to the pools early, or will we continue to find them on redds into mid- or late-November? Just keep your eyes and your mind open, and send in those fishing reports to let us know what's working and what's not. We'll get through this together!

Walt

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