Low Light Equals Best Bite

Take Advantage of Low Light Conditions. By Simms Pro Team Member, Landon Mayer.

We all love those bright sunny, warm days but often times, “ideal conditions” don’t always lead to the best action. Here, Simms Pro Team member, Landon Mayer shares a chapter from his book, 101 Trout Tips, A Guide’s Secrets, Tactics and Techniques, (Headwaters/Stackpole Books) on how you can time your fishing sessions to take advantage of low light conditions.

The Problem: I  see fish in bright conditions, but they shy away from my flies.
The Solution: Make a mental note on where the fish were located and pursue them in low-light conditions the same day, or another day when the weather is bad.

We are all in search of warm weather and bluebird skies for our fishing adventures to remain as comfortable as possible. There are some scenarios that supply the best of both worlds — warm and sunny, with outstanding fishing through the day. What some do not realize is that depending on time of day or weather, you may have more success in low-light conditions. These scenarios decrease visibility for predators, allowing the trout within the waterways more access to feed and exist free of stress.

The first way to time light is by the hours of a day throughout the year. Usually this consists of early mornings and late afternoons. I match the time of day with the seasons I am fishing for the best results. For example, rainbow, cutthroat, and cuttbow trout prefer cold water that is warming, making the afternoon bite the most active in the winter and early spring. Brown trout prefer warm water that is cooling, making the early morning, late afternoon, and evening the trout’s prime feeding times in late summer and fall. This will give you better options for timing your trout hunts.

Beyond the time of year, weather plays a big role in light levels because it is not based on a timetable and every year it can change. The great thing about timing light from weather is the stormy days are as desirable as the nice sunny days, making you more successful throughout the year. The best example of weather affecting light levels is the black skies of a summer’s afternoon rain showers. When the black sky dims the light around you and all you see above is black, the trout, especially brown trout, are fooled into thinking it is nightfall and it is time to feed.

Try to time the correct light as it applies to sight-fishing, not reading the water. I like 45-degree-angled sun in the morning or afternoon. This can supply excellent conditions for viewing into the water when the sun is at your back. Dark skies just before or after a storm can also create an advantage for the angler.

As Landon mentions, those dark and cloudy days can quickly turn into a lights out day. When clouds begin to build and rain begins to fall, don’t run for shelter and miss out on an epic bite. With the summer season fast approaching, check out the Vapor Elite™ Jacket and Vapor Elite™ Pant, a packable light weight option, perfect for the hike/wade season.