In last weeks post I talked about the fact that spring is finally here and some of the tell tale signs that we know it is here to stay. Well, one other sign is the fact we are seeing some consistency in the weather. The old adage of "April showers bring May flowers" is true and I am sure we will see our fair share of rain in April. We better if we want good, fishable water levels through out the summer. That is not the type of consistency I am talking about. What I am talking about is the warming trend we have seen in the past few weeks. I can look at my weather app on my phone and plan, with relative confidence, a day trip of fishing without worry of snow, ice and bitter cold temperatures. Maybe stability would be a better word choice, ether way I knew where I was headed on Sunday morning.
Before I get into that I would like to share with you a few things I have been working on. The "Irish Flies" Shad School is this weekend. All of the prep work is completed and I have a few loose ends to tie up before the first class on Saturday. For the time of year the Shad reports have been positive. This is based on first hand info. I am really looking forward to this weekend, and I hope the guys in the class are too. I have added a page to the web site. If you go to the home page and move your cursor over the "Home" tab at the top of the screen you will see a drop down titled "Local River Conditions". Click on that page and you will see various buttons with names of our local rivers. These buttons are links to the USGS site for each river. Here you can get river height, flow levels and water temperatures. I also put a link to NOAA as well as Salt Water Tides .com. If there is something else you would like to see on this page let me know. If I can I will put it up there. I also would like to let you know I will be presenting at the April meetings of the White Clay Fly Fishers and the Dame Juliana League of Fly Fishers. On April 21st I will be presenting "Articulated Flies, a Practical Approach" for the White Clay Fly Fishers. This presentation will discuss fly design and fishing techniques of big, jointed flies. On April 27th I will be presenting "Light Spey for Local Waters" for the Dame Juliana League. This presentation will discuss fishing with light, two handed gear on our local waters for Bass, Trout, and Shad. I hope to see you on the 21st or 27th. I will post more about these dates in the next week or so.
Sunday fun day
As mentioned, the stable weather had me planing a day trip on Sunday. I haven't done a full day on the river since the fall and I was excited to get out there. With temps predicted to be in the 70's I was hopeful the warm temperatures would have the bugs active and the fish would follow suit. A quick text conversation with "One Boot" Ed and our plans were made. We would be meeting up at 8:30 and heading to one of our favorite rivers. Ed had to leave in the late afternoon so we devised a plan to drive both cars out and park his at the spot I wanted to fish in the evening. We then got into my truck and headed to a section of river with about a 50 / 50 wild to stocked fish ratio. The weather was great and the water temps were just under 50 degrees. The bugs were active and I found several Nymphs under the rocks.
I also saw a bunch of these guys in the air..
As mentioned this section of river has stocked fish mixed with wild fish. The stockers were acting like stockers and the wild fish were wild. This section is also open water, meaning it falls under the "all tackle" rules. Fly, Spinners, Bait and Stringers are all part of this rule set. At one point I was nymphing over a pocket of stocked fish when an older gentleman fishing spinners walked up next to me. For those of you who have never fished ultra light spinning gear for Trout being successful is much more than casting out and reeling in, and this guy was good. He proceeded to pull 3 fish out from underneath of me as fast as he could cast. When fishing open water I have come to expect this, I actually enjoy it. I am sure this old guy was thinking something like "I don't know why you are messing with that long rod son, I just showed you how to do it" Well, I figured a silver spinner and a white Bugger are pretty close to the same so I re-positioned myself, tied on a white Bugger and proceeded to pull 3 fish from underneath of him as fast as I could cast 3 times. The look on his face was priceless and we both started to laugh a little. We had a nice conversation before we parted ways. I do enjoy showing non-fly fishers just how effective our gear can be.
After fishing out the afternoon it was time to head back to Ed's car so he could leave and I could fish out the evening on a section of water that was tailor made for throwing dries. When I met up with Ed he was UN-hooking this little guy. I didn't realize it was a Trout until he started saying "get a picture" "get a picture"
Ed's day was similar to mine, stocked fish podded up like stocked fish do and wild fish acting like wild fish act. The top fly was a red Copper John, but PT's, Buggers and Midges all caught fish.
After dropping Ed off I took a break, ate some lunch and devised a plan for the evening. There is this awesome little run at the bottom of the dry fly flat that I have always wanted to fish, but never seem to get to. I decided I would fish there first before moving up onto the flat to match wits with some risers. I stuck 2 out of the run on a tight line rig including this awesome brown.
After spending about 1/2 hour in the run it was time to move onto the flat. Stoneflies were definitely the prominent bug so I tied on my Snowshoe Stone and fished my way up the flat. I only stuck one fish, but it was a good one, a solid 13" Brown.
It was great to be out fishing in nice weather for a change. It was also nice to spend the day on the river with a good friend. With Trout fishing heating up, Shad and Saltwater fishing right around the corner and Smallmouth only 6 weeks away this is a great time of year. Here are the rest of the pics from yesterday. Till next time...