View Full Version : Northwest Flow

11-26-2005, 08:39 AM
Looks like quite a few people went out to enjoy the nice weather on Friday. We caught about 6 bows,3 browns and a couple macks on Tahoe. Tahoejeff caught the fish of the day with a 5lb brown that he released. That was tough, it would have been a nice brown for the barbee, but better in the lake growing up.

The question, now we are under the post frontal,northwest flow. I dont think I ever caught a decent fish in the northwest flow. What do you folks think?

11-26-2005, 07:11 PM
Not a bad day Skier. I was going to go up but the weather was nasty here in Reno - missed a good day. Where did you drop in at?

11-26-2005, 07:23 PM
This time Tahoe Keys, but Jeff's boat goes more than 5mph. It was also easier to handle the wind and rain in a boat we could stand up in. We fished the Emerald Bay area. His brown was just spectacular, what an amazing fish. Sunrise with the clouds on Tahoe was worth the cold and wet even if we hadnt caught anything.

I know the right answer is to fish tomorrow, but man it is cold up here now. I wonder if the bite will be dead tomorrow? Sounds like today was tough. I am betting tomorrow is going to be a suffer fest.

11-26-2005, 07:47 PM
Don't suffer. Pick your days. It's really pretty consistent in our area in the winter. The "warm before the storm" with some rain generally turns them on. The blow from the west and north shuts them down. As high pressure builds and the weather stabilizes, fishing usually picks up. However, if we have several cloudy, unstable days in a row, fishing will pick up toward the end of that period. The best fishing in mid winter is usually after a few days of warm up.

I think that it is the change in the weather or sudden changes in water temperature that slows down the food chain and puts the fish off their feed. It takes them a few days of stable weather to develop a new feeding pattern.

Check you own records and see if you agree. ;)

11-26-2005, 07:53 PM
Anything from the north is Burrrrrr >:(I can't recall anything of size or out standing action during the NW wind,even on the ice it's brutal for the mighty bite 8)

11-26-2005, 08:11 PM
One way to find out is Fish! Ya never know http://momentoffame.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/30617/size/big/cat/514/page/1

11-26-2005, 08:19 PM
And if you fish for enough years, you learn not to fish when you're not going to catch. ;D So why suffer? Only guides need to fish when conditions are bad.

11-26-2005, 08:25 PM
We do suffer at time's for sure! Almost always catch fish even with some strange conditions. Maybe I haven't fished long enough. Good job Sierra Skier

11-26-2005, 11:01 PM
I really want to catch a 20lb mack this year, so I think I better take every chance to be on water. But yeah Doc, that seems to be the way it works. I wonder if its pressure on the lateral lines? I would think the wave action would kick up food, and bring stuff in from bank. I was talking with a friend back home in Georgia and he was saying the same thing about the bass bite on the reservoirs, but the creeks and rivers seem to be more effected by flows. My big brown came on a day with 3 fish over 8 hours during a north flow. Time on water I guess is the most important factor. Tahoetopliner, you would have loved friday, the weather on the lake was spectacular, blowing and squalls, but not really wavy because it was coming from all directions. Let us know if you need a real beer shipment.

11-27-2005, 08:02 AM
In order to catch a lot of fish (as opposed to catching some fish), there has to be something going on that will concentrate the fish in certain areas or depths and keep them feeding at regular intervals. That something is usually bait. While I certainly don't understand everything that goes on, I have observed (and verified through readings) that a sudden appearance of a cold front suppresses aquatic insect activity. This causes baitfish that might have been feeding close to shore or near the surface to move to deeper water. There may be weather related effects on other parts of the food chain as well. Once the weather stabilizes, it takes a while for the bait to return to normal feeding patterns and then for the game fish to find them again.

The effect of cold fronts on bass fishing in the south is legendary. When I lived in Florida, the bass would head for the deepest part of the lake and stop feeding just as the front would pass. As soon as the wind would turn back from the east, the fishing would pick up again.

I don't know if fish can sense small changes in barometric pressure of if the "bait effect" is the whole story. Fishing usually slows down when reservoir levels are rapidly changing as well. But this affects both water press pressure and bait distribution as well.

It's fine to fish whenever you can. But if you like to catch lots of fish and are not interested in trophies, why suffer? ;D

11-27-2005, 08:15 AM
I'm with you Doc. I prefer to maximize my success, although my fishing schedule is usually dictated by my work schedule. Thanks for the info!

11-27-2005, 02:39 PM
I know the right answer is to fish tomorrow, but man it is cold up here now. I wonder if the bite will be dead tomorrow? Sounds like today was tough. I am betting tomorrow is going to be a suffer fest.

SS we fished today from 7-12 and it was really cold for awhile,the action was slow nothing like Thur.We managed 1 and of course my daughter got it ;D ;D


11-27-2005, 10:52 PM
Fished with clients today (Sunday, 11/27) in their boat on Tahoe and I can confirm the slower topline bite. "Northwest Flow" is over (and I have caught some good fish in that cold, nasty north wind) but we were in a weird spot between fronts and I didn't know how it would play out.

Overcast and ripple on the water at dawn said "troll plugs in the shallows", but we didn't have a touch, so then we went to slow-trolling bait on a topline and worked hard for 3 small rainbows and 2 three-pound macks. All fish were light/tentative biters, with several that spit the hook (super-sharp Gamakatsu), some stolen baits, and 'nips and follows' where we had to take the rods out of the holders and play with the bait on our end, either throwing it back to the light biters or sweeping it forward to make them try harder and hit with a little authority.

By late morning we tried deep downrigging, and as soon as we found fish and sent our baits down to 150 - 200 feet we caught several macks to six pounds in an hour. These fish were not 'light-biters'.

11-27-2005, 11:30 PM
You know a guy is bored when he replies to his own self on these message boards. Just wanted to add to Doc's comment on barometric pressure changes versus baitfish/insect movement. (We're getting technical now boys, hang on to your thinking caps!)

I have had too many 'barometric moments' on lakes and rivers to discount this effect. Can I attribute a hot trout fishing bite solely to the dropping barometer at a certain rate on an incoming weather change? Yes!

If the weather makes the bugs and baitfish exhibit different behaviors or seek different habitat, then that still is an excellent explanation for why trout act the way that they do. Does the trout bite change based on the weather or based on what the bait and then trout do in response to these changes? The world may never know, but I intend to keep researching this subject

11-28-2005, 08:18 AM
Yes Weez, I think much research is necessary. *On Friday TahoeJeff and I were catching during the warm period. *Then the front passed, winds really started becoming steady from the northwest, the cold really started setting in and the bite really slowed down. *I think we picked up one fish in the final 2 hours. *

I think what everyone is saying is that we should be on the lake right now!

R.I.P., that is a nice shot. Your daughter looks like she had a great time, cold be darned! We hiked and skied Rose a couple of times, time to mend some rock damage now.

11-28-2005, 08:44 AM
Just to add a little more confusion to the conversation, back when I would fish in any weather, I caught a few really large fish under conditions where the overall bite was shut down. The really big fish don't always follow the crowd.

OK, all you young guys get out there and suffer. ;D

11-28-2005, 08:58 AM
I'll agree with that last post Doc.
I caught my 2nd biggest (6.02) Eagle Lake trout when I was the only boat on the water, because it was so nasty. Incidentally thats the only hit I had that evening. :P