What is Hoot-Owl?
In the great state of Montana, when water temps hit 73°F for three consecutive days, a “Hoot-Owl” restriction goes into affect. The “Hoot-Owl” closes down fishing between 2PM and midnight. This allows anglers to fish in the mornings, and gives trout a break during the warmest part of the day.
Why Hoot-Owl, and what can you do?
This year Colorado has experienced low water and high temps, a stressful combination for trout. We would like to bring awareness to this issue and ask our angling friends to be conscious of water temps and participate in their own “Hoot-Owl”. Plan on fishing the morning, taking water temps as the day heats up, and calling it a day if the water hits 67°F. If you don't have a thermometer, err on the side of trout and reel it up at 2PM. The trout thank you, your fellow anglers thank you, and Fishpond thanks you!
From the River
"As stewards of the environment, it is important to take care of the resource. We as anglers in Colorado are facing the worst drought since 2002. I remember that well…it was the year that the Hayman Fire burned 140,000 acres in the Pike National Forest. Conditions are similar this year, which is pretty scary. The water is low in most drainages and water temps are climbing fast. It is important to check the water regularly and quit fishing if the temps exceed 67 degrees. Anglers should carry a thermometer and check temps every hour. Also, fly fishers should start early and end early. Anglers need to make sure you pinch your barbs, keep the fish in the water at all times, avoid any unnecessary handling, wet your hands before handling fish, and don’t play the fish to exhaustion. It’s not a good idea to take pictures of fish right now, as it only adds to their stress."