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So who went fishing today? I've fished in zero degree weather before, even caught some fish. But, I couldn't force myself to head to water today on my day off. Anybody brave the elements?

This also begs a question: if a tailwater stays a mostly constant temperature, how cold does the air temp need to get to slow down the fishing? How deep down in the water column must the fish go to stray away from the cold air affecting the water above? Do rivers have a thermocline like lakes? Is this beer I'm drinking a stout or a dark ale? Cabin fever is taking its toll.
 
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Mmmmm Stout ! Me likey mucho !

Had fantastic days in 11 Mile Canyon at temps of -10 ! One one of those mornings i managed to lock my keys in the car and nary a soul around, talk about freezing to death !

The water is moving, which keeps it from freezing ( mostly) and the closer to the warm source ( dam) the water wont change temp enough to mess with fishing. This is also why most tailwaters dont freeze for a few miles. It takes a while for air temp to affect a change.

The fish maintain a body temp at or near the water temp, they only really slow down once they reach the temperature threshold of the species. Trout will stay on the feed in water temps in the low 30's, but will be very sluggish.
 

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My philosophy is that it can't be good to take those trout out of the water into those temps... even if it is just for seconds to take the hook out, so I leave them alone when its this cold.

I stayed inside all day and flied some ties, -5 high for the day is just too damn cold...
 

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I agree with S_L, you can find good fishing in tail waters..... Also agree with ECA, need to keep the feesh in the water if it is really cold...

I've fished 11 mile canyon below zero, and caught some nice fish. Tough on the fisherman and fish if you aren't prepared...

BHR
 

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My personal record flyfishing is -16, and I had a great day, piles of fish. Also had the river totally to myself.

Only thing is, there is no possible way to cast. You are forced to 100% high-stick. Any water that touches line is instant ice. You have to chase fish if they run and keep the flyline from touching the water, otherwise the whole works gums up and the tippet gives way.

Another thing, I hated going round and round about this at Sportsmen's with dim-witted customers; if the reel gets wet, expect ice to form. THE END! It is not Lamson or Ross or Hatch or Galvan or Abel or blah blah whatever company to blame when ice forms between the frame and the spool and it quits working, it is the Universe.

SS
 

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The fish don't really care. Bottom line is that even when they are sluggish. They still must eat
I don't my record for lowest temps that I' fished. I do however know my record for catch them on the dry fly and that was -9
This morning on peak 7 the outside temp is reading-40 ( at are house according to the thermometer) I'm not fishing that. More due to icing of the rod.
In the end trout are cold water fish
 

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Fishing in that sub zero weather I learned a little lesson. Upon trying to remove a small fly from the fish's mouth my metal forceps grabbed the fishes skin and froze on there. Peeled a little skin off of the fish's face. Just like sticking your tongue to a flag pole. I learned to keep the fish fully in the water while removing flies from there on out.
 

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My home waters freeze over when it's this cold. I generally need to wait for a few days of above freezing temps until I can get out again which is good since I can't seem to stay off the river otherwise!
 

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When I was walking to class yesterday around 4PM I was trying to think of the last time that I was actually THAT cold...and then I remembered being on the Dream Stream last spring before sunrise when the air temp was -13...it warmed up, but I can tell you that I couldn't feel my hands for the first 4 hours of the day!
 

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A number of years ago, prior to the burn, I caught a 22 inch brown, above Deckers at about 9am, with a temp of -28. We'd fish for 15 to 20 minutes and then go back to the truck to warm up. Caught fish all day, temps later in the day were around 0. The key was no wind.
 
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