Perry P. brook trout Nice!

Perry P. brook trout Nice!

I don’t even know what to say. Predicting the fishability of the rivers in Pierce County has become almost impossible. A snap shot of river conditions one minute, changes the next. As I try to deliver the best information on these streams be aware that all bets are off. Here is what I know. Today waters are high and dirty again. An inch of rain fell in the afternoon yesterday. Your reports are very helpful in providing a wide variety experiences to other anglers. We all thank you. Keep them coming.

– Flows will continue to run well above normal as they have been. Water tables are full and every spring head including ones that were not there previously are pumping water at above normal rates.  This makes angling and wading more difficult and challenging. Fish are being caught when conditions are not dangerous. Those who are are angling are having variable results depending on where they are on any given day. Choosing the best locations to fish can be a crap shoot.

-Water clarity has been degraded. The “perfect storm”(look for future post) has happened this year and recovery from every event will be slower as well as different for each watershed. Water clarity and flow rate are the two major factors we all use to try and determine “fishability”. This definition can vary among anglers and experience on the water is the only way to set your own standard. The Kinni has been the slowest to recover this year.

-Adult aquatic insect populations have been greatly reduced. Surface feeding activity is sparse. From simple surveys it appears that caddis populations have fared best as many larva/pupa are anchored rather than free living.  Terrestrial insects populations normally entering the stream have likely also been effected by the extra precipitation.   The trout still need to eat.

Every outing to the stream is a learning experience. Catching is the intermittent reinforcement that has the greatest power over anglers. Observation is the greatest power anglers have to massage intermittent in their favor.