Change is good.

When asked the question, “Should I fish today?” My standard response has been, “get out of the house before your better half hands you a punch-list starting with: 1.Clean out the Garage. 2. Ditto for the basement. 3.And by the way, the yard could use some attention…. We are a spoiled lot. We’re five minutes from the river, and with the advent of the new fangled stream gauge we can now wow callers from three hours away with quips like, “Hendricksons are coming off around 2:30 PM, the water is 51 F, is clear, and the flow is 180 Cfs. “180 What?” Cfs., (cubic feet a second). That’s engineer speak for flow. Many confuse Cfs. with chronic fatigue syndrome. This correlation might have merit, particularly if you wake with the sun on a weekday, are still too tired to put on a tie, but somehow manage to slap a sandwich together, grab the gear bag, a lucky hat and your favorite rod, and make it down to the shop to ask, “How’s the water?” The stream gauge gives us real-time flow info by two measures. The gauge height measure or stick is the measure with which we are most familiar. The white stick located on the on the North side of the river just downstream from the Falls Rd. bridge has been a benchmark for many years. Cubic feet per second (Cfs.) is a unit related to rate of flow in streams and rivers. It is equal to a volume of water one foot high and one foot wide flowing an average velocity to cover a distance of one foot in one second. One “Cfs.” is equal to 7.48 gallons of water flowing each second. As an example, if your car’s gas tank is 2 feet by 1 foot by 1 foot (2 cubic feet), then gas flowing at a rate of 1 cubic foot/second would fill the tank in two seconds. If it was 91 Octane, and you filled up today, it probably cost you about $3.70, but that’s another matter. Do trout know this? I certainly hope not. Most days I think trout are just eking out a living and doing their best to avoid us. Over the next few weeks we’ll post relative measures that will quickly convert flow info into terms we can process without an abacus. We will establish a range in Cfs. and anthropomorphize the cold, calculating gauge with terms like ankle deep, shin deep, and don’t forget, knee deep. So come on up, the water’s fine. Remember, it’s more important to go fishing than to figure out a reason not to.