Warmer days send fish to lower depths | SierraSun.com

Warmer days send fish to lower depths

Those of you that have been fishing regularly have noticed that the fishing has slowed down with the warmer days we have been experiencing.

Trout seek the cooler depths when water temperatures exceed 65 degrees.

The water temperature at Martis lake this past week was between 72 and 73 degrees at about 2 p.m. This is very warm and probably explains why the fishing was poor for the gentlemen that I interviewed.

Water temperatures over 74 degrees will not permit a body of water to be planted as we saw in the recent Davis lake plantings.

The concern is that the survival rate will be very low when the temperatures exceed this threshold.

Davis has been planted with nearly 900,000 fish and should provide excellent angling as the fish become more accessible in the fall.

Right now the fish are deep during the days, and only make limited excursions into the shallows early or late in the day.

This is the typical summertime pattern in the various lakes within our region. As a result angling in the “dog days,” as it is referred, are very slow.

The angler can find some very good activity in either backcountry lakes or streams during this time of year. The heavy snowpack that we experienced this year has left these lakes in great condition for August.

The high country

Fishing in the high country should be very good this year. Many of the lakes are at least a good month behind their normal openings.

Testament to this fact is that the Department of Fish and Game aerial plants of the Desolation Wilderness area, typically done in July, are just now beginning due to the slowness of the backcountry lakes opening.

With a long winter, some lakes could have experienced winter kill.

These would generally be the shallower lakes in the system that could have a tendency to freeze nearly solid.

Give your favorite backcountry lake a good try during August. Whether you fish with bait, lures or flies, I am sure you will have some success.

One of my favorite fish is the Eastern Brook Trout. While they are not the greatest fighters in the world they take a fly quite readily and make exceptional table fare for the backcountry traveler.

With their worm-like vermiculations on their back to the white, red and blue spots and white margins on their fins, these fish are pretty. They are fairly abundant in backcountry lakes and tend to do well in waters in lakes 7,000 feet in elevation or higher.

The angler traveling into the backcountry can really improve his or her chances of catching fish by carrying a float tube.

Float tubes, or “belly boats,” as some people call them, afford the angler an opportunity to fish the whole lake.

Many times casting from shore will be difficult because of obstructions, and prime areas may be inaccessible as well. With a float tube the angler can reach these prime areas and fish them thoroughly.

I strongly advise carrying one of these with you if you are planning to do any backcountry travel. They are really worth the extra weight and hassle of packing them along.

Local streams also provide some real opportunity for fishermen this time of year. Fish tend to concentrate in the highly oxygenated waters. “Pocket water,” created when water tumbles around rocks and boulders, are great areas to try during the summer months.

The churning water creates additional oxygen and the fish tend to hold in these waters and wait for the food to come to them.

Whether you seek the solitude of the backcountry or try fishing one of the many streams in our region, do not let the “dog days” get you down. You can still have some very good fishing.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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