The mystical and magical creation powers of rain appear time and again in different cultures throughout history. Yes, admittedly, I no longer believe in them. However, rain – or more simply, water – is vital to life. Sadly, whenever I think of rain it’s a 50-50 shot at C.C.R. or that fucking – albeit catchy as hell – Luke Bryan song.
While straining the hippocampus to recollect previous precipitous fishing experiences, I generally associate the rainy days with good days. Even with moist, wrinkled, and frozen extremities, leaky rain jackets, and a mildew scented car interior that takes days to dry out, rainy days fly fishing seem to be some of the best. Why?
Well, for starters, people are pussies. A generalization, I admit, but most would rather sit inside drinking hot tea while catching up on Gilmore Girls reruns rather than brave Mother Nature at her finest. Use caution of course; in no way do I endorse wading chest deep through a thunder storm or taking your grandfather’s heavily patched Old Towne through class IV rapids. Yet, a little rain, some wind, and cold temps shouldn’t sway you from hitting the water. If anything -and my previously stated generalization proves correct – this forecast thins out the crowd.
I’m no scientist, so I’ll leave the hypothetical, correlation based, research methods to the professionals. Barometric pressure, tides, and such, also rank above my feeble mind’s threshold of graspable concepts.
So, to keep it simple, rain stirs up oxygen in a body of water. Rain water – mostly hydrogen and oxygen – enters the river, lake, etc…leading to more oxygenated fishies. More oxygen = more activity. Think about a football player sucking wind on the side line throwing a mask over his face to increase airflow. Similar idea here.
Increased runoff also causes more food to enter the water. When dinner is served, you eat it, right? Same goes for our fish friends. Small ditches fill will Slurpee cups, cigarette buds – don’t litter, asshole – and numerous dining options for our water dwelling counterparts. Also, rain soaked branches and bushes drop insects to eager bass, trout, etc… Thus leading to more food.
To wrap it up, less people fishing, increased fish activity, and an influx of food, should make for a memorable day. Experiment with techniques and fly choice – this is half the fun. My brother once told me, in order to catch a fish, you have to think like a fish. Granted, when he said this he was pretty wasted. Still, it makes sense. Recall the last time you went out. What worked? What didn’t? Think about why. The fish act a certain way for a reason – usually a simple one. So if you understand them, you’ll catch more. Go get wet, my friend.