Saturday, May 20, 2023

Importance of Baromator Reading When Fishing

 One of my favorite times of the day is my afternoon coffee time spent in the swing on our back porch. While sitting there, I can watch the different species of birds that visit my bird feeders and listen to the rambling sound of my two rock fountains nearby. The birds feed freely at the feeders 10 to 12 feet from the swing. It's a time to reflect on the weeks events, from various chores to fishing trips on Tuesday's and Thursday's. 

Sitting here this afternoon, I wondered why Jason and I didn't land fish at daylight this morning. We were fishing in some of the familiar places I fish, but there was no activity at all. Even the streamer couldn't arouse an interest in a hit. As the morning wore on, I started eliminating the two main negative factors that keep fish from hitting: high barometric pressure and cool fronts. The positive factors that make this lake one of the best in the south were there which are water quality, excellent oxygen levels due to the heavy boat traffic, an abundance of bait fish in the form of shad, and tiny freshwater shrimp in the creviisis of the underwater rock formations through out the lake and last lots of structure; so what was the problem? Two hours into our trip and no fish to show for our effort. On mornings like we were experiencing one must be willing to change flies, color poppers, line tippet, and rod weights to cast lighter flies. Patience is essential in weather you land fish or go home skunked. Luckily for both of us, the fish decided to turn on about an hour before we left at 10 AM. Why did the fish turn on for about an hour? We figured the barometric pressure had risen and the air temp had warm some. The barometric pressure was the main factor. I used to have a baromator years ago but lost it. Rest assured; I will be replacing the one I lost. 

The lake was super clear making it a must to fish a greater distance from the banks. Overcast skies helped at times to keep the fish from seeing the boat.
After a long dry spell, this Spotted Bass inhaled a blue Boogle Bug popper, the first fish of the morning for me. The male bass would be the only bass I would land for the morning. It made me aware of its 16-inch length. 
Jason' Spotted Bass would be the only one he would touch for the morning shortly after I landed my bass. A white Boogle Bug popper got the attention of the bass. Cathey and I were glad  Jason got to spend a few weeks with us and was able to work in a couple of fishing trips on Smith Lake! 
Landing the Spotted Bass 

We landed a number of super size bluegills that would produce a nice meal. 
The wool shirt tells you it was still cool when Jason hooked this gill using his new Greys Streamflex 4-wt. Fly rod. Greys Streamflex fly rods are manufactured in Alnwick, England. The Greys Streamflex is one of the lightness fly rods I've fished with, and the best part is it is priced reasonably at 375.00
Surprisingly we notice this Barn Owl in this cave area on one of the rock wall banks we were fishing. Jason was surprised he got to take the picture that close. 
It flew to the other side of the cave as we got closer. Jason thinks it would be nesting somewhere near one of the ledges on the cave wall. 
Finally, it had enough of our company so, it took flight and flew across the lake. Seeing the Barn Owl was a first for both of us, which made us realize that sometimes there are other ways to enjoy a day on the lake. 


  1. Hi Bill & Jason. I'm partial to Owl's as the Screech Owl is on our family crest. Coming back from a not so wonderful trip to the Deschutes River some years ago, we stayed in Sisters, Oregon. There is a river close by that I though I might fish as my wife was looking at quilting stuff and would be tied up for hours. Ran across a guy that said the only fly fish were biting on were size 23, which I had none. The point I'm making (and I should probably include that the barometer dropping) as a storm was coming that night. Maybe the dropping barometer was the reason the bite was so hard to get that day. Anyway we got 2 inches of snow by morning.

  2. Great post, Bill. There is so much we don't know about. I suspect you're right about barometric pressure. Great sighting of the owl.

  3. Catching fish at any given outing is often a gamble for whatever set of reasons but more often than not we come away with positive experiences while on the water. What a treat to find an active barn owl at the lake! I'm still looking for my first one. It's a rare species in my neck of the woods, but I'm glad you guys saw one & appreciate the experience.

  4. Mark
    I couldn't find my barometer that day anywhere in the boat, really frustration---I have one ordered and I hope I can keep this one close by. Thanks for the comment

  5. Justin
    True, fishing along with everything we encounter daily is a learning process. Thanks for the comment

  6. Walt
    The Barn Owl was the highlight of the trip. It was the first one we had ever seen in the wild. Thanks for the comment