Another week, another pile of flies so to speak.  Well it looks as though fall has finally decided to show up.  The cooler weather that I personally look forward to arrived but with it came a nor'easter that dumped a bunch of rain and some damaging winds.  The bellyachers and meme genies were in full effect online, whining about high water again.  Note to self, high water makes for fat and happy fish.  One motto that rings true from my past career was adapt and overcome, and arguably this past season has been one where you could easily apply that to your fishing strategy.  

In a sense, what’s the big deal if you can’t fish, you should be looking at it in another light.   You could look at it like this, those fish that get pestered daily are now able to take a vacation from gambling on a meal.  There’s a silver lining in every story, and although we had a lot of high water this year in New England, some rivers have fared just fine, and many of you don’t even realize that there are more than one river in Connecticut with trout.  

Conversely, high water, or changing flows this time of year can have some rather negative impacts as well depending on timing.  I am certain that got some of your attention, and you’re wondering about the irony of this passage.  Brown trout and brook trout are fall spawners, many of them are in the middle of, beginning or finishing up doing just that in our area.  When the timing of severe fluctuations in flow coincide with heavy spawning activity there can be a much lower probability of higher levels of success with potential future fish stocks.  The subject is a lot more complex than that, but essentially if a major change in flow in either direction, in excess or lack there of, the success of trout eggs hatching significantly decreases.  There has to be some serious extremes mind you, for example a complete dewatering of a spawning bed (redd) exposing those eggs to air or conversely a large volume of water that scours the river bottom.  

In the past week we have experienced a significant amount of rain so much that our rivers have run exponentially higher than what is considered normal.  This past summer the amount of rain we received was even greater with noticeable changes in river habitat and streambed scouring.  Now I am not certain as to the impacts of this recent storm, but it is safe to say that it very likely has had some impact on the 2022 class of fish.  Some rivers like the Farmington have dams that can mitigate some of the negative impacts, but we truly will not know until a little ways down the road as to how that particular year class of fish fares.  I can say with a very high level of certainty that there have been some very noticeable changes to habit, both good and bad.  Being in a boat covering many miles of a few of the rivers I frequent regularly has painted a very vivid picture of what has transpired. 

This brings me to yet another topic that I plan on delving into in greater detail at a later date.  What can we do as anglers to protect these fish and the fishery for that matter to ensure that we continue to have river reared “wild” stocks of trout?   Personally, I would love to see closures on many of my local waters to ensure that these fish get the best chances of furthering their genetic lines, but that idea gets mixed responses.  I will let that one simmer for a bit but will come back to that in the coming weeks to the arguments that go hand in hand with that idea.  In the meantime I will leave you with some eye candy from this past weeks adventures and a glimpse into the life of what it means to production tie.  Have a great weekend.