Now that the worst is over, we are in the “wait and see” period when the damage to our fish stocks will be assessed. Hopefully, the fish kills that occurred were not of the magnitude to make a significant impact on our stocks of trout and other fish.
Going beyond that, the question many anglers have is how will our fishing be when conditions improve?
In regard to that question, let me share my experiences with the after effects of hard freezes. If no major fish kills took place, then the catches will progressively improve as the water warms. Fish continue to have to eat, so finding food in the form of bait fish and crustaceans will be their high priority.
When warmer water and higher tide levels return, expect trout and other fish to be aggressively feeding. The best time to fish with the best odds of catching something will be in the afternoon when the shallow waters are the warmest.
Trophy trout guides have often told me that the last two hours before dark sets in are the best.
Deep pockets of water will continue to be one of the best choices, as fish now are in a pattern of working out of their refuge. This means that until sustained warm weather, which usually means water temperatures close to 70 degrees or higher, trout and other fish will stay close to safe havens and venture out for short times in search of food.
By early next week we should know more about this situation and can discuss where the action is going to take place.