How to use a stream thermometer
A stream thermometer is a necessary tool for any fly fisherman’s vest. Start unraveling the mystery of when fish are biting by using a stream thermometer to check the water temperature. As any good fisherman knows, trout feed actively at water temperatures from 50F to 65F. Bass and other species anglers are also learning the value of knowing water temperature and how it affects their particular species as well.
The questions I get asked the most about stream thermometers have to be; how accurate does the thermometer have to be? Aren’t digital thermometers more accurate? How much do I need to spend to get accurate readings?
Yes, digital is more accurate than normal thermometers. Normal thermometers may vary a degree or two but are as accurate as they usually need to be for our purposes. You can spend a lot of money on either type. Save your money and spend it on extra flies, a new line or buy your wife a bouquet of roses!
The River Traditions stream thermometer measures in both Celsius and Fahrenheit from 20F to 120F.
• Ported Green Protective Tube
• Celsius and Fahrenheit from 20F to 120F
• Carabineer clip to easily attach to vest or pack
• Forest green color to cut down on glare
• 6.25 inches overall length
The temperature has been up and down like a yo-yo over the last few weeks, anything from seriously sub-zero up to a balmy double figures. Fish, being cold-blooded, are the same temperature as the water they swim in, so even small changes have a massive effect on them. Whereas warm-blooded animals need to eat more when it is cold, to generate heat, the opposite is true for fish in our rivers and lakes.
Therefore, having a rough idea of the water temperature and whether it is rising or falling can have a massive impact on the baits you use. Even a change of 0.1ºC can make a difference to your catches.
Many the times you won’t even need a thermometer to make your bait choice if you keep an eye on what’s going on around you; the indicators are there to see.
You should also be aware that the air temperature is not necessarily a reflection of the water temperature. For example, a warm day after several snowy ones will see the snow melt and water temperatures plummet. It might be pleasant to fish, but your chances of catching are reduced because of the colder water. Conversely, a frosty day after several mild ones might yield surprisingly good results.