Reports are something people often depend on before going to a fishing location. Some of us get these reports from our local Game and Fish offices, fishing websites and other anglers. This may sound odd but I don’t put a lot of stake in them unless they come from someone who I know is a good angler that spends a lot of time on the water. By a lot of time, I mean multiple days in one location. It is impossible to tell how a lake/ stream or river is fishing by only being there one day.
I spent the past three days on Becker Lake. Friday was one of the better days that I have found on this piece of water. Trout were rising like crazy and eager to eat. In two hours alone, I landed 15 fish. The following day, it was terrible for me. Fished hard and covered a lot of different depths and couldn’t find a fish. I missed a few hits but that was all the action I got. I was fishing with Emerson Craig and he landed one. Yesterday, things changed again. I took my neighbor Fred along with me and we had quite a bit of action. I fished dries with droppers and he spent time stripping soft hackles and fishing indicator rigs. We both got into fish and it was a very productive day. When we came off the water, I talked to another fisherman who I know through a fly fishing club. He landed a bluegill and had one other fish on.
What does this mean? This means that fishing not only changes from day to day but also from fisherman to fisherman. If I want to know how a piece of water is fishing, I give it a try and just because I have a bad day doesn’t necessarily mean that the fishing is bad. It could mean that I didn’t find the right flies, depth or that the fish just aren’t feeding at that time. We tend to think fish always eat but that isn’t the case. I have pumped a trout’s stomach and found nothing in it. Eventually, they do have to eat and I hope to be around when that happens and it could turn on the next day.
The phrase “you should have been here yesterday” is true a lot of the time as fishing can change from day to day. If you fish enough, you will experience a lot of those “yesterdays” and can find that just because fishing in a location is bad today, doesn’t mean it will also be bad tomorrow. The only way to really tell what is happening at a fishing location is to go spend time on the water.