The Stream Doctor

March 14th, 2005

Email YOUR Questions directly to the Stream Doctor. This is your opportunity to get an experts professional opinion on anything stream related.

Q. What is the relationship between barometric pressure and fish biting? I realize that cloud cover will cause certain mayflies to hatch and also provide the fish with a sense of security. But, I am looking for more than that. I have wondered about this for many years!

A. Well, and this isn't meant to be smart-alecky, you may have to wonder for many more years! There are probably as many theories about barometric pressure and fish biting as there are people expounding on the subject. I've heard anglers swear that a falling barometer puts the fish down, but have seen no scientific proof of this.

I can find nothing in my reference library that gives any definitive information on barometric pressure and fish feeding. In the book Trout, 15 pages are devoted to trout as predators - how they feed, how they select prey, when they feed, and on and on. But, not one word about how, or if, weather changes influence feeding. Further, I've asked a couple of fishery biologists/professors if they know of any definitive information on the subject and they know of none.

From personal experience, it has always seemed to me that a rapid change in weather - clear to rain or vice versa - caused fish which were actively feeding on the surface to stop striking. This doesn't always last long, and these observations are certainly not very scientific.

If you have a question, please feel free to contact me.
~ C. E. (Bert) Cushing, aka Streamdoctor
105 W. Cherokee Dr.
Estes Park, CO 80517
Phone: 970-577-1584

The 'Stream Doctor' is a retired professional stream ecologist and author, now living in the West and spending way too much time fly-fishing. You are invited to submit questions relating to anything stream related directly to him for use in this Q & A Feature at

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