I hit a local freestone. Water was very low but there’s a particular stretch with riffles and a good sized trench. I caught a bunch of fallfish. Then on one cast, there was a sharp tug. As I pulled in line, I saw two fish. Two browns.
They came to the net quickly and seemed slow to revive. After a few minutes they seemed fine and swam away with gusto. That’s when I realized I should have taken the water temperature right away. It was pushing 80 °F. Shame on me. As I have blogged before, when water temperature rises, there’s less oxygen. So, catching fish can be dangerous for them.
I had been keeping an eye on the Quinapoxet’s water temp. via the USGS site. It was a hovering in a safe zone. So lessons learned. I should take a stream’s water temperature right away and not assume that a nearby river is representative of a region.
I right away stopped fishing. So, with this heat wave, here are my fishing plans going forward:
- When schedules allow, fish at dawn and at dusk. Nature is very interesting. During a heat wave at noon time, you don’t hear many birds chirping or see other animals. In our neighborhood, at dawn and at dusk, there are rabbits and squirrels galore and a cacophony of bird noises. So, that’s when nature is active, when bugs are buzzing around, and when fish are feeding. Bugs don’t hatch at noon in August. The heat is too intense and will dry out the bugs’ wings.
- Target areas where tributaries enter rivers. Rainwater should be colder than the main stem of a river. The trout will either be at the intersection between a brook and a river or in the brook itself.
- Hunt for underwater springs. As Colie Egertson has written, look for aquifers, underground water is cooler.
- Fight the crowds at the Swift and Farmington rivers. These are tailwaters, at which water is released from the bottom of dams. So, the water temp. will be nice and cool.
- Head up mountain. Target the headwaters of rivers. I hear there’s some incredible brook trout action in the White Mountains, for example.
- Go north. I soon will be doing my annual pilgrimage to Pittsburg, NH, near the border with Canada. There, I’ll be fishing the beginnings of the Connecticut River, which is a tailwater.
So, that’s my plan. What is yours?