As you might expect, we are in high gear around here this week. Trout season opens this Saturday and it looks like we are finally going to have some warm temperatures for opening weekend. The water on Fishing Creek is in great shape, the guides have been seeing a few early black stoneflies and the others will soon follow. Quill Gordons, Blue Quills, and Grannom Caddis usually usher in the season but this year have been slow in showing, but with a couple days of warm temperatures the hatches will get going.
With early season in mind I’ve asked Jim Kukorlo, our head guide, to give us his thoughts on fishing at this time of year. Thanks, Jim, for sharing these with all of us:
Early Season Fly Fishing
Traditionally with the Opening Day/Week of Trout season most streams are running high, fast and cold. This year's Early Season will certainly live up to that and then some. Today I saw some snow in spots and ice clinging to tree branches along the water edge. When the weather decides to act like it's Spring and not Winter it will still take some time for the water temperature to warm up.
So it's not surprising that I'm seeing very little insect activity. Early Black Stones are spotty and I haven't seen any caddis or mayflies to get excited about.
If you’re going out, be sure to dress for the occasion with long johns and wool socks. Don't forget fingerless gloves and hand warmers. Hand warmers are a must if you plan on fishing after releasing a trout or two. It's always a good idea to dress in layers for warmth and it's easy to take off layers as the afternoon temperatures rise. I don't mean for this to sound all dark and gloomy. Cheer up. Trout Season is here. “Let's Fish”
Nymph fishing will probably be the name of the game and there are a few things to remember when fishing in cold and fast water. The most common mistake most fly fishermen make is not fishing deep and slow enough. One rule of thumb I tell fishermen is when you think your fly is deep enough add one more split shot. I believe you are one split shot away from catching trout. Detecting a strike can be tough in these conditions too. I highly suggest to fish with a strike indicator. Even with using an indicator the strikes can be very supple. One of the most common mistakes I see fishermen make is misreading a strike. If the indicator stops or just looks funny set the hook. I have a early season fly box with heavily weighted nymphs and streamers. I use tungsten bead heads on my nymphs and on a few flies I even add some additional weight. Off color water or muddy water scares off some fly fishermen. But in this kind of water darker color nymphs work well as does a pink or brown Squiggly Wiggly Worm pattern.
For extremely high and fast water I switch to fishing streamers. A sinking tip line works best in these conditions and I prefer the RIO Streamer Tip fly line. Once again “Slow and Deep” is the name of the game. If you are not bumping off the bottom of the stream with your streamer you’re not deep enough. Use a streamer that is big and heavy and moves water when you retrieve it. Cathy's Super Bugger is my go to fly in high, fast and cold water. The last thing I change is the color. I prefer to start with darker streamers and change to lighter colors. Carry an assortment of colors in your fly box. Black, Olive, Brown, White and Yellow all can catch fish under different water conditions.
Early season conditions can be frustrating at times, but hopefully these suggestions will help you to have a more successful and enjoyable day on the water.
Spey for Single Handed Rods
For Soft Hackles & Streamers
Are you wondering what all the hype is about spey lines for single handed rods for trout fishing? Here's the short version from Simon Gawesworth at RIO. For roll casting, swinging soft hackles, fishing streamers, the new InTouch Single Handed Spey Line 3D, in line weights 3-8, might just be the answer. We love listening to Simon and here he tells us all about the new line. Thank you Simon & RIO.
Spring Guided Fishing
The guiding season is ramping up for us. Three of the four best months of the year for fishing are here — April, May, June & October. Fishing Creek is freestone so the summer fishing, while good, can be quite technical with low water and spooky fish. So, this is it, right now!
If you’d like to come and fish, look at your calendar and give us a call (570-925-2392). Early season fishing can be very special as these photos show.