How Stream Flows Affect Fishing
The stream flows can drastically affect the fishing for rainbow trout. In the spring in the mountain regions, the snow will melt and the rivers can get high and murky. This can make the fishing pretty difficult, so a lot of anglers will go fish the inland lakes where possible until the water flows recede. When the rivers and streams are at normal levels, you’re going to have plenty of places to target rainbow trout in the low to moderate current and in the many current breaks. When the water levels are low, you can usually find the trout grouped up in big numbers in the deeper pools in the rivers. You can often find a lot of rainbow trout in the current, so don’t think that these fish will only be in the pools.
Fly Fishing in Rivers & Streams
Rainbow trout are great for beginner fly fishermen. They are usually willing to eat a variety of baits and on most of the better rainbow trout waters, there are a lot of fish stocked, which means you can have a lot of action. Like other trout, you are going to find plenty of rainbows in the deep holes, undercut banks, brush, log jams and any other type of cover in the stream or river. The pools and other areas with current breaks are great for rainbows, however, you can usually find quite a few fish in the current as well as long as the river isn’t running too strong.
Water temperature will definitely play a huge role with trout. Rainbow trout thrive in cold water and will become stressed out in warmer water temperatures. Once water temperatures get into the mid to upper 70s, rainbow trout can become stressed and they will usually try to find the deeper, colder water. On most cold water rivers, the water temperatures won’t get too warm even in the middle of the summer, which is why rainbow trout thrive in rivers up north and in the mountains. Because rainbow trout do better in higher water temperatures than most other trout, you will find rainbow trout in many more rivers and streams than you will find other trout.
Rainbow Trout & Steelhead Spawn
Rainbow trout and steelhead will usually return to the rivers to spawn in the spring and fall when water temperatures are in the low forty degree range. On rivers that aren’t connected to lakes or the oceans, you aren’t going to find the lake run or ocean run fish, but the river rainbows will still spawn at similar times of the year. You can still catch plenty of fish during the spawn, however, once the eggs start dropping, there is definitely a better bite going on with egg patterns.
Low Light Conditions
Low light conditions almost always provide better fishing opportunities for rainbow trout and steelhead. On most of the better rainbow trout waters, there are so many rainbow trout that you will have no problem catching plenty of fish during the day, however, to target some of those bigger rainbows and steelhead, the early morning and late evening hours will almost always provide better fishing opportunities.