What's Your Time Limit For a Day's Fishing

You know we all learn something every time we venture out to one of our favorite streams or lakes. The learning curve has really increased for me over the last few of years; especially when it deals with the length of time I spend on the water. When I was younger it was a given for me to stay on the water all day regardless of the conditions, but as I get older that is not in my game plan anymore. A half day on the water is usually my trip. Research has shown that the most active feeding periods for most warm water species are early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Anything in between is an added bonus. The feeding periods for cold water species such as trout, can be somewhat different. A hatch on a given stream or tailrace could cause a feeding frenzy anytime of the day. I have seen trout feeding on mayflies at a frantic pace at on our Sipsey Tailrace. This is why I love trout fishing so much, because I can make a two or three hour trip into something special anytime of the day. Being retired has afforded me the opportunity to tailor my fishing trips during the most active time of the day. When I was working five days a week I was only able to fish on weekends, with an occasional trip during the afternoon, holidays or summer months. Now if the barometer is high, with cloudless skies, wrong wind direction and extreme heat or cold I stay home. One thing I have learned about fishing over the years, one can’t make a fish hit if it’s not feeding. I know we all have different variables that determine how much time we spend on the water during a day’s fishing trip; is it the bite, weather conditions, time of day, or just the enjoyment of being outdoors?


You know we all learn something every time we venture out to one of our favorite streams or lakes. The learning curve has really increased for me over the last few of years; especially when it deals with the length of time I spend on the water. When I was younger it was a given for me to stay on the water all day regardless of the conditions, but as I get older that is not in my game plan anymore. A half day on the water is usually my trip. Research has shown that the most active feeding periods for most warm water species are early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Anything in between is an added bonus. The feeding periods for cold water species such as trout, can be somewhat different. A hatch on a given stream or tailrace could cause a feeding frenzy anytime of the day. I have seen trout feeding on mayflies at a frantic pace at 1 PM on our Sipsey Tailrace. This is why I love trout fishing so much, because I can make a two or three hour trip into something special anytime of the day. Being retired has afforded me the opportunity to tailor my fishing trips during the most active time of the day. When I was working five days a week I was only able to fish on weekends, with an occasional trip during the afternoon, holidays or summer months. Now if the barometer is high, with cloudless skies, wrong wind direction and extreme heat or cold I stay home. One thing I have learned about fishing over the years, one can’t make a fish hit if it’s not feeding. I know we all have different variables that determine how much time we spend on the water during a day’s fishing trip; is it the bite, weather conditions, time of day, or just the enjoyment of being outdoors?

Building for Another

Working at the latheThis was my eighth go at rod building, and I really think this is the best one yet. Just before Christmas the brother of a fishing buddy of mine asked how much it’d cost to get a rod built. I was kinda in the middle of a couple of p…

Working at the lathe
This was my eighth go at rod building, and I really think this is the best one yet. Just before Christmas the brother of a fishing buddy of mine asked how much it'd cost to get a rod built. I was kinda in the middle of a couple of projects, and told him that, but he gave me the go ahead to build a rod for a gift even though he knew it wouldn't be ready for Christmas. Just so happened that Hook & Hackle had a sale on some green Matrix blanks that would fit the bill excellently. With free reign to build whatever I thought would be best I selected a 9 foot, 5 piece, 5 weight blank with reverse half wells grip, green wraps with silver trim, custom reel insert and silver hardware. The rod really came together and now I hate to see it go. Oh well, here are some pics from the build.
Ended up with some nice options


Think I picked the best one for this build

Sure is nice to see it coming together

First coat of Color Preserver, man it looks dark!

All five pieces

I'm getting better at my penmanship!


Did a decorative wrap at each ferrule 
Test casted her this morning and I think he'll get a lot of mileage out of this rod. Can't wait to get it delivered. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.
- Kidder


I'm Learning – pt. 2

This is a continuation on some information that I’ve been looking into about fisheries management. Part 1 can be found here. One of the many myths out there is that it takes a really long time to grow a trophy trout. But in most cases it’s a fast …

This is a continuation on some information that I've been looking into about fisheries management. Part 1 can be found here

One of the many myths out there is that it takes a really long time to grow a trophy trout. But in most cases it's a fast growth rate that makes for large fish, not necessarily an older fish. For example, in some Southern Utah streams Brown Trout often grow from fingerlings to the 18-20 inch class in as little as 3-4 years. Brook Trout, also in Southern Utah, have reached the 5 pound mark after surviving only 2 winters (3 Summers). With these fast growth rates it means that even if 80-90% of the 16-18" trout are introduced to the dinner table they will still be replaced each year. The left over 10-20% will still be around to potentially grow even larger. 

Great! But what if we only harvest 50%? That'd mean that the other 50% of the population would be left to grow larger and there would be even more large trout to catch admire and release right? Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way. Remember that pounds per acre decides how much any system can sustain. More simply put, there's only so much room in our bucket. If there are a lot of 16-18" fish the growth rates would slow. Sometimes harvesting fish can actually promote fish growth. With fewer fish, we can fill our bucket with less fish of a greater size. This all applies to a point, since no one wants fisheries to be over-harvested either.

Limiting Factors

There are four main limiting factors when looking at fisheries: Water temperature, water habitat, sport fish harvest, and size of holding pools. These limiting factors can prevent fish from attaining potential growth. 

These seem simple, and they are, but the real trick is in identifying which factor is limiting your fishery. Improving an attribute that isn't the real source of your problem doesn't help the situation. Just like when the doc gives you the wrong prescription (pain meds instead of more cowbell). 

Two scenarios that have been played out around my home state are the "low pounds per acre" and the "high pounds per acre" stories. Automatically we assume that high pounds per acre is good right? But if that population is made up of small fish that aren't in good condition is that really a better fishery? Of course not. In this case habitat improvement wouldn't necessarily help out much. What's really needed is an effort to reduce the overall population density. There are a few options here including a rotenone treatment (after which a different species could be introduced to the fishery), the introduction of a new predator and/or sportfish harvest increases. All of these options are an attempt at taking some fish out of the bucket so the ones left can grow bigger and/or grow faster.

Low pounds per acre with a potential to improve conditions usually calls for habitat improvement projects. These projects basically increase the size of our bucket. Then we can manage the fishery how ever we'd like to fill that bucket.

These posts are meant give you some info, or at least something to think about. They don't seem to help much with the shack-nasties and seem to make me want to get out even more. Hopefully you can get out and enjoy the water, I know I need too!

- Kidder