Over the past week I have been watching the local water levels fall to almost perfect dry fly fishing conditions. And although we aren’t quite there just yet, the bugs and trout are now starting to come together nicely. Thank God for drier weather!!!!
I have been able to get out a few times for an hour or so in the afternoon, and I am now seeing sulphers and March browns popping off here and there with some sporadic caddis emergence. I am still waiting for my opportunity to get out in the early morning or evening to take advantage of a major hatch or spinner fall, so in the meantime I am making the best out of what time I do have.
We have been enjoying some fantastic nymph fishing as of late. And the hot fly has continued to be a #14-#16 gold bead head OS nymph. I have even tried various other patterns to see how the trout respond, but to no avail, they want what they want, and I am always willing to oblige.
I recently had the opportunity to get out to the stream with my youngest son Ethan for a little fishing on a lower section. This particular section gets stocked by the NYS DEC, and gets pounded during the early part of April just after the opening of the state’s trout season. But by this point in the year, the pressure is off, the fish have turned on to the bugs, and you can usually find plenty of stocked fish left along with a few larger holdovers and wild fish.
Ethan and I had a blast during the time we spent together on the stream. We both caught numerous fish up to 16” and ended our time with close to 18 fish landed. Most were stocked, but on occasion I would get a small 5 to 6 inch trout that I know the state does not stock.
I also had the chance to swing some flies for fish as they are now starting to look up in the water column more and more. This technique seems to have been lost by many anglers, as I mostly see guys fishing nymphs or dries. But I still know that there are some of you out there that haven’t forgotten this great technique. One of my favorite methods is to fish a weighted wet fly or nymph. I cast the fly slightly upstream, throw in a mend and let it dead drift near the bottom. When the fly nears the middle part of the drift and the fly line starts to bow, I let it swing up off the bottom towards the upper part of the water column, making the fly look like an emerger shooting towards the surface. And if the fly makes it to the end of the drift without a strike, I let it dangle in the current below me for a minute. Of course this method is best used before a hatch occurs, but if I start to notice splashing rises from fish at any point during the day, I try and make a point to change my technique! Seeing a fish chase down my fly or come rocketing out of the water with it, is an event I never forget!
I have also found a little time for some warm water fishing at another local stream. Both small mouth bass and carp have been willing to take a fly. Although I must admit that the carp have had to take a little more convincing than the bass.