Dealing with Fluctuating Water Levels
By: Matt Straw
Adjust to fluctuating water levels to find fish
Traveling through darkness with hours to go; trying to reach a river just before daybreak. The sky unleashes a torrent of rain that wasn’t predicted by any weather outlet. The river rises, and you arrive to stand above a writhing, screaming, out-of-control beast.
Fluctuations in water level can move fish around quite a bit, but if rising or dropping water makes angling tough, it might be because the angler doesn’t quite grasp how fish react to those variables. Or it could be the fish just aren’t there at all.
Very high and very low water levels create adversities for migrating fish. Whether to migrate to spawn, as salmon and steelhead do, or to utilize seasonal habitat, like systemic trout, bass, or whitefish, extremes in water levels can postpone fish movements. Until the need to spawn or move becomes urgent, fish might stay put.
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