This is a busy time of year for us. We just got home from an almost month-long trip to Argentina, Easter is this weekend, Mexico next week, and opening day of trout season here is April 18. Thinking of opening day, our stream Fishing Creek is in really good shape. We've had a nice slow snow melt with no high water or ice jams. Water level is perfect and we're looking forward to a good season.
Although the weather is still very cold here, the forecast is for warmer weather toward the end of this week and we know that soon the little blue quills and black stoneflies will be hatching followed by the Quill Gordons, Grannom caddis and Hendricksons. There will probably be some high water from spring rains so if you're headed out to fish anywhere in the northeast, don't forget your streamer box. Our super buggers are ready and waiting!
Thinking about spring fishing and all the different types of flies and rigs that one uses makes me think about leaders, fly casts, and presentation. I'd like us to look at three RIO leaders, the Powerflex Trout, Suppleflex Trout, and Steelhead/Salmon. The Powerflex and Suppleflex are favorite designs for trout fishing anywhere.
The beefed up butt section on the Powerflex helps turn over heavy indicator rigs while still allowing delicate precise follow through for dry flies. The Suppleflex though is made of a very soft, supple copolymer material with excellent knot strength. The supple nature provides featherweight presentation and does not impede the natural movement of a fly in the current, perfect for dry flies and soft hackles. If your nymphs and strike indicator are not turning over, it may be because the leader material is too soft. On the other hand, if your sulphur spinners are landing too hard on the water or if you're getting refusals the fly may not be floating naturally because the leader material is too stiff. The diameter may be correct but if it's too stiff the fly won't act naturally.
When throwing big streamers or heavy split shot you may find that the leader doesn't turn over the cast. If the leader lands in a bird nest at the end of the cast, the fish won't untangle it to get to the fly. Not only that, but the bird nest can result in knots in the leader which can break when a fish strikes. If this is happening to you, make sure of three things: (1) Is there enough line speed to deliver the cast? (2) Keep the rod tip a little higher when throwing this type of rig so the cast has time to turn over before falling on the water, (3) Is the leader material too soft to support the weight? Within the last year or two, we've discovered the beauty of using a RIO Steelhead/salmon leader with big streamers. The heavier stiffer butt section makes it easier to turn over heavy flies and deal with wind. If you're a serious streamer fisherman, you will want a couple of these leaders in your pocket.
There's nothing like early season trout fishing. We can enjoy this special time of year more if our tackle is properly matched and using the best leaders in each fishing situation will help us do that. We hope you get out often this spring, it will be over before we know it.
Next time we'll talk about rods for each of these situations.
And lastly this week, I stumbled across this video clip of Jack Gartside and enjoyed seeing it again. It has been around before, but if you haven't seen it, or simply want to enjoy it again,here it is. It's a good reminder of what was important in Jack's life. There's a lesson here for us too.