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Fly Patterns
Dealing with Change

Fishing deteriorates and the plucks and grabs to the fly cease. How can anglers cope with this change?The day began with promise, within thirty minutes a fish was hooked and released. Trout were foraging amongst the vegetation feeding upon fleeing scuds and emerging chironomids. Shortly after lunch a cool breeze comes up and a look over the shoulders confirms suspicions. Ominous clouds appear signaling a weather change. Fishing deteriorates and the plucks and grabs to the fly cease. How can anglers cope with this change?

Trout in stillwaters are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure brought about by weather. It is believed that subtle pressure changes affect the trout’s swim bladder that provides it with a sense of balance in the same manner as our inner ear. Recalling a drive up into the mountains we have all experienced our ears "popping" as a result of pressure changes. As barometric pressure drops trout go off the bite and sulk or retreat into deeper water. In some cases trout become so inactive that they lie motionless on or just above the bottom hovering in a trance like condition.

Fly fishers faced with pressure changes should back up into deeper water. Use a sounder or bathymetric map to identify possible retreat areas such as underwater humps and depressions. Slow down the presentation by utilizing a slow hand twist retrieve to creep the fly along. Trout will not move far if at all to feed until the barometric pressure has stabilized. Fishing will not be as predictable as before the change but with a change of approach and tactics one or two trout might be coaxed into taking a swipe at the fly.

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