Christmas Day 2015 Alabama received a gift that just kept on giving. Water fell and flowed into the state. Lewis Smith Lake received more than its fair share. The lake would rise 10′ in about 12 hours. Boat docks were broken loose from their moorings and floated away in the fast currents created by swollen creeks and streams. This abundance of water in the lake required Alabama Power to release water through the dam in order to reduce its levels. Though it took most of the month of January to accomplish the goal, with the generators running most of the day, the levels are finally back down in the lake. One misconception that many hold is that the trout get swept downstream in such high water/ high velocity events. I’m sure that this theory persists because it seems logical. We can’t imagine swimming agains such water and can’t imagine that the trout can either. The problem is that this simply isn’t true. Trout were created to live in mountain streams where the snows melt and produce even greater volume and velocity than is found in the tailrace of the dam. The fish simply find a rock, tree, or obstruction to hide behind or they move to the slower moving water along the banks. So don’t be afraid to fish a tailrace after generation or even after long periods of generation. The fish are still there after the floods.
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