Observations from the Water – this Past Week (4 – 10-Jan)
Short but sweet week. Conditions were great throughout. A little cold at times but the wind wasn’t terrible and the water color stayed clear.
I have a theory about the pattern that unfolds underwater when things above the water line have been stable for awhile. Other than anecdotes, I don’t have much scientific evidence to back this theory but here it goes. The longer the environmental conditions (in our case, the weather) stay “stable,” the lower the catch rate.
Stable weather has benefits – for example, stability makes planning a easier. For example – stable weather patterns are rarely windy and little if any precipatition falls = plenty of fishable days. However, stability comes with a few downfalls too. For example, stable weather allows the water to clear up. At first, clearing water is a benefit to the angler – until the water gets “really” clear. By the time the water gets “really” clear, the fish will have endured a few days of pressure. That early pressure and what it yields (good fishing) brings out more anglers and in turn, more pressure. Add steadily increasing pressure to super clear water and the result is lower catch rates and a population of fish “begging” for a change in weather. Right now, here in WNY, we are nearing the end of one of these cycles. Still, if you put in work during times like these, Mother Nature will reward you.
To anglers that spend a lot of time walking creeks, this theory is just common sense – nothing revelatory. However, the Lower Niagara is often perceived as a completely different game from walking the regional tributaries or inland trout creeks. The Lower is certainly different but it’s size is what distinguishes it from all other creeks around here. Sure, that size has a quality of it’s own but I think the general “angling rules of thumb” still apply.
Looking Forward (11-17 Jan)
If my theory holds – the longer the weather stays stable, the lower the catch rate – this upcoming week will provide a good test. Big southwest winds by mid week will likely shuffle the deck a bit adding some stain to the water – maybe even making it too muddy to fish for a couple days.
Either way, we’ll be on the water near daily – continuing to teach and learn. We look forward to testing the theory and will provide you our anecdotes in time.
Get outside – breathe some fresh, crisp air – and avoid the shack nasties. If you want to take it another step and take part in something exciting this winter – give us a call. Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,