Saturday, December 26, 2015

Flooded Rivers

The USGS stream gauge date map shows black and blue dots all over Southern Appalachia (and across much of the South, East Coast and Upper Midwest, for that matter). The dots mark locations of stream gauges. Blue suggests very high flows. Black is even higher.

The rain of late has been crazy. It has actually been seriously rainy around here since mid-fall, so our streams were already running at high levels. For the past couple of weeks, though, the clouds have turned it up a notch, and it has been coming down, coming down, and coming down some more. Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours with a shop vacuum sucking water from the basement area where I keep all my fishing junk, and it looks like I might be doing the same thing again in a few days.

I actually like rainy days, and I really like trout fishing with dark skies and high flows. Brown trout feed best when the skies are extra dark, and most trout position themselves more predictably and become a bit less skittish when flows are high and the water gets a little off colored. The same conditions also tend to lessen crowds, which certainly suits me.

High water has useful limits for fishing, though, and most of are streams are well past those. They are running so hard that most fish are hiding behind rocks on the bottom and are essentially in hang-on-for-life mode. Most streams will have to settle at least a bit before fishing is likely to be good. When that happens, though, it should be really good, with better than normal big-fish potential.

For today, I think my best bet is to do a bit more drying and some sorting in my basement. Getting stuff in better order will let me get on the water faster on those days that will be coming up soon when river conditions are more conducive to good fishing.

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