If you’re still learning the basics of fly fishing, you might intuitively avoid rainy weather. Contrary to popular belief, fishing in the rain can provide rich and unexpected opportunities. In preparation for your rainy day outing, always consider environmental elements such as temperatures, tides, structures, and location. Comprehensive planning is vital to achieving a lucrative catch, no matter the weather. If you’re ready to embark on your first rainy angling adventure, consider the tips for fishing on rainy days below.
1. Research Tide Behavior Beforehand
Storms cause higher tides and rainwater build-up along the shore. Before settling in a particular spot, consider where there is most water movement.
During a storm, areas with high activity will typically include spots neighboring or around drains, inlets, and spillways. Outflows in these areas will churn up the bait, attracting fish that are eager to feed.
However, you’ll generally want to fish before the storm occurs. Low barometric pressures encourage your catch to feed—a behavior that significantly slows in the middle of a storm. If you are caught amid the downpour, don’t give up—the behavior picks up once more after the storm passes.
2. Bring Waterproof Gear
Even your best-quality fishing gear won’t suffice if they aren’t made for wet fishing. Though it’s entirely possible to fish in regular gear, non-waterproof clothing tends to sag and become heavy when soaked.
When you stay warm and dry amid stormy weather, you don’t run the risk of tiring quickly or becoming distracted.
3. Seek More Aggressive Fish
Part of the tips for fishing on rainy days is seeking more aggressive fish. Some fish are privy to sunny weather, while others, such as bass, have no problem being active on rainy days.
When fishing for bass in the rain, you can’t retreat to your habit of soaking your bait in shadier spots. Instead, you’ll have to present your bait faster while covering more water. If you’re an avid spinner, speed up your presentation and troll atop the surface of the water.
The best way to catch bass during stormy weather is to consider their travel routes. When doing so, avoid sitting stagnant in one area for more extended periods.
4. Seek Runoff Waters
During a storm, surface runoff that hits the water is likely to bring nutrients along with it. This excess of materials tends to attract baitfish and, therefore, your potential catch of the day.
When nutrients leak into the water, the area typically becomes muddy or cloudy, an ideal setting for the usually nervous bass. Under these conditions, the bass are less likely to see oncoming boats, giving you ample opportunity to approach without running them off.
Another advantage of lower visibility is that the bass are less anxious to bite more frequently. You never know when you’ll run into an enormous feeding session!
5. Try Topwater Angling
While topwater angling takes frequent practice and finesse, it’ll take you a long way when fishing during a storm. Remember, bass are most active during downpours, so you’ll want to use at least two different baits to combat the choppiness of the water.
Consider using a buzz bait or jitterbug to attract your catch. When using a topwater lure, you’ll want to stick to fishing in common areas and avoid sharing the same type of lure as your angling partner.
Instead of incorporating a quick-travel strategy, topwater fishing requires patience and endurance. Work your bait for as long as possible if weather conditions remain the same.
6. The Bottom Line
If you’re still learning about the appropriate fly fishing gear and familiarizing yourself with various angling destinations, fishing in the rain can prove a significant challenge. However, it certainly isn’t impossible!
While many will advise against fishing in the rain, doing so isn’t impossible—you might even stumble upon a better catch.
About the Author
Kenneth is the founder of Perfect Captain and has been angling professionally for nearly three decades. He aims to be the number one resource for fishing enthusiasts online.