View Full Version : How Deep is Deep Enough?

Ralph Tomaccio
11-15-2002, 07:04 PM
Currently, I have been concentrating my efforts on trout since getting into flyfishing last year and have just started to try fall/winter fishing. I don't get out nearly as often as I would like during prime time and would like to extend the season. I know that as water cools, the fish begin to gather in deep pools.

But, what I haven't been able to figure out is, just how deep of a pool should I be looking for? Is there some guideline that you use when you're on any given stream?

Is there any relationship between the water temperature and the depth to locate fish?

The fish have to be somewhere and I'm just not sure where to be looking.

I can't seem to locate that type of info in any of the books I've read. And, there doesn't seem to be any books dedicated to "cold weather fishing". Do you know of any that you can recommend?

Thanks for your willingness to share.

11-17-2002, 12:05 PM

You might try "Fishing the Four Seasons" by Dave Hughes. I haven't read this book, but have read other books by the author and have found them to be well written. As the title states, its about fishing year round and no doubt discusses tatics for fishing in the cold weather. This will be my first season of winter fishing, so I can't give you much personal advice.

You can get the book at www.anglersart.com

Ralph Tomaccio
11-17-2002, 12:41 PM
Hey, Neighbor!

I use to live in Ashland! Now living in Bellingham with a business in Framingham. Maybe you have heard of it, Korday Studio of Photography. It's been there since 1947.

Anyway, you must have just gotten the Angling Art flyer as I did. I saw the book you mention and plan on ordering it through Amazon. It's more than $4.00 cheaper there plus, since I'm ordering some other gift items, the shipping will be free.

Maybe we can connect on the water some time.


11-17-2002, 03:24 PM
Trout spawn this time of year. If the river runs into a big lake with trout. Work the mouth with streamers. The lake fish will come to these waters to spawn. If your having trouble locating fish in the main parts of the river, look for slow back water areas that are shallow. Also look for feeder streams where the fish may run up to spawn.

I don't think you just say, well I need to find deep water. That's the mentality if your fishing a lake in Feb, Mar or in the middle of the summer.

A warm sunny winter day. What will heat up first in the river? The shallow water. Look for midge hatches in the slower parts of the river. That's the key!!

11-18-2002, 12:20 PM
Hi Ralph,

Where have you been fishing? I've fished locally the last couple of weekends due to lack of time and the weather. I've been exploring the Sudbury river behind the railroad tracks upstream of Mill Pond. At least I think its Mill pond, its located near where Main Street turns into Badger. I went Saturday afternoon with a few hits, but no fish. I caught a few fish last weekend so I know its fishable. I have heard there are trout in that section, but I'd be surprised. I have also been fishing a small pond in Hopkinton that has yielded some nice pickerel on the fly and shiners. I have a tendency to travel an hour plus for well know trout streams but lately I've been focusing on local trout and warm water fish. Can't beat driving 10-15 minutes to a secluded spot and catching fish, even if they aren't trophy trout.

Ralph Tomaccio
11-18-2002, 03:06 PM
I've been to the "Y" pool on the Swift once, and just downstream of that. Also a few times on the Blackstone just 15 minutes from where I live.

I've gotten my daughter into FF and she lives in Concord NH. A few times we meet half way and fish the Squanacook or drive over to the Nisitissit near Pepperill.

I was told there are some good spots in the Sudbury, but I haven't tried them yet.

I've also been curious about the Charles, specifically around the Natic dam. Maybe "NatickDave" can chime in and let us know how that area is.

I know what you mean. Right now I'm just satisfied if I get a few takers, regardless of size. I feel I have so much to learn, it seems to be taking forever before I'll feel somewhat savvy at FF. Someday!

11-18-2002, 05:16 PM

I would be happy to chime in on the fishing on the Charles...in fact, I just did! I made a post a couple of hours ago about my short and fruitless trip on friday. The bottom line for this time of year is that the fishing is pretty much over. The state stocks the Charles at the Natick dam in the spring only (though, I would think that fall stocking would be very successfull here), so there are no trout to be had. I have never caught a trout on the Charles, though I know it can be done. And, a number of feeders have holdover stockers and stream born brookies year round.

I have had fantastic warm-water fishing on the Charles. When the conditions are good (summertime evenings, for example), the action is so hot you just have to laugh. I have caught bluegill, pumpkinseed, redfin, calico bass (crappie), largemouth (some fine ones, and I know folks who had had monsters), perch and pickerel. My daughter even caught a shad, which was a fine sight on this hard-worked river. Also, there are some big carp even up this far. There is a wadeable stretch below the dam, and above and below the dam are good for canoing.

Now, I want to hear about your time on the Blackstone, Ralph. It is on my list, though maybe not for this fall. I went to the West River in Mendon/Upton not too long ago, but I caught bass instead of trout. I believe I should have been farther upstream. Anyway, please let me know what you have done, seen and caught on the Blackstone. Thanks in advance,


Ralph Tomaccio
11-18-2002, 07:05 PM
Hi Dave,

Thanks for sharing, and I'm more than happy to do the same.

The only spot on the Blackstone I've been to is just below the Blackstone Gorge dam. It's a beautiful area and a very nice stretch of water. I've caught a few small trout there about 8-12" in the two times I've visited. It's easy to get to and parking is provided. Sometimes when the water level is very low there is a foul odor from pollution which occured years ago and they say not to eat the fish. That's not a problem anyway as I believe in C&R. But, from what I have read, the Blackstone has come a long way in recent years and is an often overlooked fishery. Like I said, I have fished there twice, but I have also explored the area a few times without fishing gear and have never seen another fisherman.

As far as the Squanacook in the Townsend area, there are a lot of areas to fish with easy access. Haven't caught anything there yet. I attribute that to my inexperience and choosing days to fish that were less than ideal. Once during the summer during our heat wave when the water was at least 70 degrees and again recently when the air and water temp was 40 degrees, which is the reason I made my original post in this thread.

I don't get a chance to fish as much as I would like and am trying to make my outings as fruitful as possible by getting answers to some of my concerns. I did just order a book "Fishing the Four Seasons", so I'm hoping that will answer some of my questions as well. I think what it's going to really boil down to is putting in my time in the water. But I am the type that also likes going in with as much knowledge as possible as well. I do a lot of reading, but without the actual experience, much gets lost. I just wish I started fly fishing years ago.

Ralph Tomaccio
11-27-2002, 10:22 AM
As recommended, I got the book and would like to highly recommend it.

It's Dave Hughes book, "Fishing the Four Seasons". A really down to earth book full of practical tips and suggestions on how to get the most out of each season. It has answered all my questions and has confirmed most everything you fine people have suggested.

Thanks for the help, and Happy Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for.

Jim C.
11-27-2002, 11:53 AM
Ralph, this is an interesting discussion. I consistently catch fish in Central Maine even if the water temp is 32 and I have to watch it to avoid being knocked down by ice floes! Winter fish are nuts. I've had days where I'd land 8 fish in 45 mins., but not have a touch the rest of the time! And it's hard to say when that magic 0:45 will happen....at the start of the trip...in the middle....at the end....or not at all. When they're on, they're on. And it's not always the slow and deep water approach that works either. I've had aggressive brookies and browns come out of nowhere to hammer a fly or lure in some pretty skinny water! Acting like the water was 52, not 32. When you're on a stream. try different types of spots until you hit upon a pattern. I like to fish ahead of an approaching storm or cold front. I've also noticed a correlation between the amount of activity at my backyard bird feeder and trout in the stream. Go figure.

You have a nice Holiday, too!


Ralph Tomaccio
12-01-2002, 01:39 AM
Just thought I would bring you up to date on my cold weather fishing. After having read Dave Hughs book, and following some of the advice learned in these forums, I went out to the Blackstone River with my daughter, alittle downstream from the dam at Blackstone Gorge.

She was using a Lightening Bug, size 16, and I tried a olive and black Wooley Bugger, about a size 12, both with a split shot about 18" up from the fly. We were on the edge of a deep pool, cast out to the middle and, within 10 minutes or so, my daughter caught the first fish, a trout about 6" or so. About 10 minutes later I connected. In all, we brought in 6, with numerous other hits.

The water temp was 36 degrees.

All in all, we were very pleased with our results and had a wonderful time on the water. Thanks to all who shared!


12-02-2002, 09:00 AM
That is great news, Ralph. And to think I spent the long weekend wrenching on cars....


12-02-2002, 09:35 AM
Don't fish the dead water.

Fish the slower water that borders faster water.