Fishing not gone with wind
August 19, 2004
The typical summer pattern as we head into August is that we can expect warm weather and winds. Winds can be present on both clear days and during thunder shower activity that generally picks up during the month of August in the Sierra Nevada.
As an angler, these winds can cause a problem casting, but can also help the angler in a number of ways. During August, terrestrial insects such as the grasshopper play an important role in fishing the various streams in our region. Windy days are prime times to fish a grasshopper imitation since they are often blown onto the water. Other insects such as beetles and ants can also be blown into the streams.
This wind can also carry insects into the relatively barren lakes of the backcountry. Any insects that are blown into the backcountry are readily accepted by hungry fish.
The wind can also help anglers in lake situations during the summer by blowing food into a certain part of the lake. The insects are concentrated by the winds and the fish tend to follow them. The concentrations of insects attract baitfish and trout feeding upon the baitfish as well as the insects.
During these warmwater periods in lakes, the wind can also actually help cool water temperatures by causing an upwelling of cooler water. This phenomena is caused by cold water from the lake bottom rising near shore to replace warmer water that has been pushed toward the other end of the lake by offshore winds. This type of condition will change the usual summer time pattern in lakes where fish are concentrated near the slanting lake bottom and thermocline stratum.
An angler that can adjust to wind conditions can be very successful during this period. Adjustments can be as simple as fishing off the shore that the wind is blowing toward.
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Fly anglers may have to switch from a floating line to an intermediate or other sinking line when fishing nymphs or streamers depending on how deep the fish are concentrated. Floating lines tend to get a big belly in them due to the wind making strike-detection and hook-setting next to impossible.
During the heat of the summer, these winds can be a welcome sight to the angler. It certainly improves your chances of success during the most difficult period of time during the trout season.
So while the wind may cause some difficult conditions in which to fish, sticking with it may lead to success that you never thought possible during the heat of summer. Next time you experience a windy day, give it a little more time before calling it quits. You may be pleasantly surprised.
[Bruce Ajari, a Truckee resident, is a regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.]
(25,800 Acre Feet) Inflow is only 51 cfs and the outflow is 317 cfs. Boca is dropping rapidly. Boat and shore anglers have had good success. Fish have been caught with minnow imitating lures and flasher combination rigs. Most anglers are fishing from shore using nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Fly fishermen near the inlet have experienced fair to good action. Nymphs and streamers have accounted for most of the fish caught, although some fish have also been caught on dry flies and emergers.
Fishing has been good for mackinaw. A combination of jigging and trolling has been successful. Shore fishermen near the launch ramp have had fair success. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Fly fishermen have taken a few fish mostly with streamers.
– Lake Tahoe
At 6223.63 on 8/15/2004 (Lake Level 6223.00) Fishing has been good for mackinaw. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing should improve now that rainbows are done spawning.
(12,800 Acre Feet) Prosser is fishing fair to good. Boat anglers have been catching fish with minnow imitating lures and flasher combination rigs. Most anglers have been shore fishing with nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good. Fly fishermen have been taking a few fish near the inlets and the dam with nymphs and streamers.
(109,700) Stampede fishing has been fair to good. Boat anglers have had good success and have caught fish with minnow imitating lures and flasher combination rigs. Shore fishermen are also doing pretty well. Most are using nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Smallmouth bass action has been good. Fly fishermen are using a combination of nymphs, emergers, dries and streamers with fair to good success.
– Little Truckee River
(Special Regulation Water ” Artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks ” no bait. Only two fish with a maximum size of 14″ may be possessed) This body of water between Stampede Reservoir and Boca Reservoir is the area’s best option, but continues to be very crowded. Flows are now only at 51 cfs. Fishing will be much more difficult at this flow. This water has been very crowded all season. Anglers are using nymphs such as the PT and Hares Ear. Dries and emergers are also working.
– Truckee River
The water in the upper river between Tahoe City and River Ranch is now running at 84 cfs and 92 cfs between River Ranch and Truckee. Fishing has slowed due to the lower flows. Below Boca the flow is 485 cfs. Anglers should concentrate in this section through the canyon. Most fly fishermen are using nymphs, emergers and dries now. Streamers can also be very productive.