Seasonal Changes [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Seasonal Changes

John Desjardins
10-04-2002, 08:22 AM
The seasonal changes in warmwater fish are starting. Yesterday I went to a spot where I caught LM bass all summer long. The water temp is down and there are no bass only nice big yellow perch that until yesterday I didn't know were in the river.

Dble Haul
10-04-2002, 09:24 AM
This seems to be happening elsewhere, too. The largemouths in some ponds are slowing down a bit, but thankfully the river smallies are still very willing participants in my escapades. They're a bit more tolerant of the cooling water.

And FWIW, keep in mind that it's the water temperature that affects the fish, not the air temperature. I've had great fishing all to myself in recent years because a few cold snaps have chilled the air and sent anglers packing, but the water temps were still reasonable for a few more weeks.

John Desjardins
10-04-2002, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Dble Haul

And FWIW, keep in mind that it's the water temperature that affects the fish, not the air temperature. I've had great fishing all to myself in recent years because a few cold snaps have chilled the air and sent anglers packing, but the water temps were still reasonable for a few more weeks.

Shhh :devil: :devil: Its nice to be lonely while fishing at times.

10-04-2002, 06:22 PM
hello all i am a new member and was reading all the posts and was wondering if you change tactics and/or flies because of the seasonal changes,the reason i ask is i was skunked tonight and i was thinking the same thing about the seasonal changes. tried everything from floating sponge body spiders to streamers,nothing any ideas,nice to meet you all,larry

Dble Haul
10-04-2002, 07:11 PM
Larry- Welcome! Glad to try and help you, but can you answer this:

Specifically, what were you fishing for and what type of water was it (pond, lake, river, stream, etc.)?

John Desjardins
10-04-2002, 09:06 PM
Hi Larry welcome to the forum. I think its the location of the fish more than tactics. My reasoning for this is that I've been getting bass from this spot, an area about the size of 2 pool tables, since July. In the last 2 weeks its switched over from bass to perch while the same fly was used. The fly was a grizzly brown bead head wooly bugger fished deep on a dead drift. Whenever the line stops moving or twitches I tighten the line to see if its a fish. Its interesting to note that I haven't caught anything of decent size at this spot on the surface. I think the bass are still in the general area but havent found the new location.

10-05-2002, 11:20 AM
In my area they draw some of the lakes down for the winter. They lower the water level by as much as 3'. This forces the fish to move regardless of water temp. One benefit is that it increases the amount of shoreline fishing on the main lake. Of course, this also affects the fishing conditions in the rivers and ponds downstream of the lakes. The water level in the carp pond is so high that it's difficult to fish there now.


10-05-2002, 05:07 PM
hi agan everyone and thank you for the freindly welcome, i am mostly fishing ponds,the unfortunate part is i haven't been fishing them enough,two girls who are cheerleaders keep my wife and i busy , i live in brick,n.j. and am about 10 minutes away from the ocean ,so flyfishing the salt takes up time too but i am always drawn back to the ponds,there is nothing like catching panfish on my 1 wgt. i use mostly scud patterns because they work and i hate getting skunked even if it is good for the soul or the ego. again thanks for the friendly welcome, larry

10-05-2002, 05:32 PM
Hi Larry,

My parents are retired and live in Whiting Township close by you. My fathers cousin was the football coach of Brick Township for a long time W.Wolfe, actually I think he still may be coaching. Ever hear of him ?

Your being so close to the ocean and B-Bay you should give the saltwater flyfishing a try. Every time I go back to visit I give it a go a IUSB.

Look forward to your south jersey reports. I grew up in northern NJ moved via corporate transfer in 1979 to the Chicago area and stayed, due to marrying a chicago lady. Love the fishing out here but miss saltwater.


10-05-2002, 05:49 PM
small world hal,warren wolf is still coaching and winning,yes i do fish saltwater also when i get the chance,nice to meet you,larry

Dble Haul
10-05-2002, 06:04 PM
Larry- Knowing that you're fishing ponds and targeting panfish, I can tell you that they will become increasingly difficult to pattern as the water continues to cool. Their forays into the shallows will become less frequent, and as the pond keeps cooling and eventually turns over (if deep enough), they'll be found as deep as 15 or 20 feet.

What does this mean for a flyfisher? Well, if you experience a couple of warm days, the fishing will be more predictable and the chances of the panfish being shallow are greater. However, if the weather remains cool for a stable period, the fish will be deep and not prone to taking anything from the surface. I think that you have the right approach with the scud. It's a great all around fly, and with a bead head and/or sinktip line it can probe deeper water well.

Also, as the water cools the fish will eventually begin to slow down. Their metabolism will match the waters around them (being cold-blooded), so your retrieve of the fly will have to slow down accordingly. When the metabolism slows, they don't have to feed as often, so you really need to bonk 'em on the nose with your offering.

This isn't to say that they can't be caught. But it certainly isn't as easy as it was in the spring or summer. And if you're pursuing perch, they stay more active than the other panfish species in colder water. They're often the first panfish I catch in spring, and the last that I catch in autumn.

Good luck and have fun. :)