This post is from contributing author, Pat Burke.
A moment comes on all outings when I stop fixating on the fishing and look around to take in the surroundings. I hadn’t quite figured out what the fish were taking, and I needed to break, and adjust my approach.
Friday was one of the first really warm spring days we’ve had this year. The last of the remaining snow had just melted leaving the river flowing cold. There was a slight fog rolling off where the warm spring air met the icy water. In the low light conditions it created a lonely, almost eerie feeling.
I always love being on the river the day after a good spring soaking. You almost don’t realize that the strong fragrance of the forest had vanished during the long winter, until you are out in the woods on the first warm spring day. The rain this morning enhanced the olfactory experience immensely. The earthy smell is a reminder that spring is here and the best fishing is coming.
What should have been a great streamer day never materialized. It rained off and on, it was dark, and the water was stained. My first bit of success came when I found a large group of spawning suckers. I tucked in behind them and matched the hatch. I was rewarded over the next hour with a dozen healthy wild brown trout.
After that brief flurry of action, I moved on, attempting to stay ahead of the crowds working up around the bend behind me. I rotated through flies for an extended period of time. Finally, I settled on a caddis pattern on my dropper tag with a stonefly as my anchor. The long period of silence ended with the eruption on the surface of the first of many fish that ate the insignificant caddis pattern. The fish were laying in the heaviest of water. Often times the takes were violent with the sighter darting quickly to the left or right. It was clear the fish were moving rapidly to intercept the fly before it rushed past.
The fishing was solid for the rest of the morning. It was hard to leave so early, but my wife had a long Easter weekend planned. As I was walking out, it was clear the crowds of springtime had started. There were numerous guys in every good run. I guess it’s reached the time of the year where I need to shift my time to the lesser known rivers.