The Rats Nest

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Unseasonable Weather, Hungry Trout And Some Preseason Expectations

I'll make this one short, as it is self evident that we are experiencing May/June weather in the middle of March.  Although it may be very pleasant, just what does it mean for trout fishing in our neck of the woods?  Well, in short, the mild winter never saw the fish in our tail water fisheries seeking out winter lies so to speak.  Fish were continually caught all winter long in water that you could find them in during the spring, summer and fall months.  Although this is great for us fisherman, it may be an entirely different ballgame next winter, or may not even be a good thing if this weather pattern continues into the summer.
Solid Holdover Browns

The spike in higher air temperatures has our freestone and tail water fisheries peaking in the mid to high 50's for water temps, and typically, most insect activity (hatches) are habitually triggered by sustained water temperatures.  So what does that mean?   You just might start seeing some of the first major hatches that typically emerge in April and May in the next days or weeks, plain and simple.  Although this sounds like great news, it can also be troubling.  Mother Nature has a way of balancing herself out, either by a radical change in precipitation, weather pattern etc.  Our reservoirs are a little lower than preferred after a virtually precipitation free winter, so unless we get some rain, we may not have a very sustainable cold water bank for the summer months.  In essence, enjoy it while you got it, as it may change soon.  The other thing that can happen is we end up with a spring smorgasbord of hatches all at once.  Good for the trout when it's happening, but high air temps can equate to warmer water early.  Lower reservoirs with insufficient water can result in a low cold water bank which will prevent a prolonged summer fishery.  Enough of the negative speculation, in essence hope for some rain in more seasonable air temps.
Dry Fly Browns, Tons Of Fun

If you've been out at all in the last 6-8 weeks, you've probably experienced some of the best fishing for this time of year that you may have ever had.  The trout have ideal water temps, and their metabolism is cranking, which usually equates to some bent rods for most anglers.  The flip side to this is lower water, which is the opposite of what spring habitually brings.  Although good for the angler, it can be less than desirable for the fish.  Pressured fisheries and low water can equate to stressed trout, so there is some benefit to higher water early in the season.  So basically, enjoy it while you got it like I stated before, all this could change pretty quickly. 
Got A Feeling The Magic Number Might Fall To The Fly In This Guys Mug

With the season essentially kicking off early, I have set some season goals for myself that I plan on sharing with you, chart my progress and hopefully check off the 2012 bucket list.  Here are a few of the plans I have in store;

1.  Fish less on the Farmington, and more elsewhere.
2.  Hopefully eclipse my personal best dry fly caught brown of 24 inches.
3.  Become more and more adept and versatile with the 2 handed rod (well on my way).
4.  Try to eclipse my personal best day time river trout of 27 inches.  (30 would be nice, but I'd take 28)
5.  Get out and fish the saltwater more, and concoct a few new viable striper flies.
6.  Catch a striper in excess of 36 inches on the flats of the Cape.
7.  Get a dozen more of my flies (primarily streamers) in the 2013 Pacific Fly Catalog.
8.  Get that first tying DVD completed by November and up for sale by Christmas (hope so).
9.  Get back into night fishing regularly again.
10.Pen a couple more articles for some magazines.
11.Develop at least 4-5 solid new patterns for the upcoming year.
12.Fish more with my wife (will happen end of July in Montana)
13.Get my oldest her first fly rod caught fish.
14.Spend more time with friends and family..... not really fishing related but a priority.

Plan On Fishing A Lot With This Rig This Year
Hopefully, most of these will come to fruition even though the expectations are higher on some more than others.  I'll keep you all posted periodically here as the season progresses, but for now, back to the vise I got another idea brewing......

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