Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cold Weather = Prolonged Spring Steelhead Season.

Our first Steelhead of the spring

I guess spring is here…isn’t it? I mean all those giant snow banks are gone and the grass is starting to become green again, trees are starting to bud, and I have even seen a few flowers starting to poke out of the ground. But there is something not quite right. We had snow yesterday and this morning’s temperature was a mind numbing twenty three degrees. 

High stained and cold water didn't help on this morning
Before yesterday every indication that spring was really here as pretty much a foregone conclusion and maybe that was the problem. Day time temperatures soaring into the upper seventies made it all too easy to envision resident small stream brown trout rising to those first emerging Hendrickson duns that struggle to work their way free of their nymphal shucks, and dare I say…even a little top water fly fishing for bass? 

We daydream of those first fish caught on dries before giving the spring steelhead season it’s due. 

Problem solved - The cold weather and snow gave us back our steelhead season!

Jonathan with his first largemouth
We needed that shot of cold air, snow and sleet to extend our tributary season. If it warms too quickly and stays that way for a prolonged period of time, our spring steelhead season will be shortened. And I for one would love to be able to fish for these big fish for a little while longer if I can. Besides we also want those big feisty drop back browns to take full advantage of our big swung streamers…right?

So, for now we are back on track.

The boys and I did however take full advantage of our brief stint with near summer like conditions with a few trips to a favorite lake Ontario Western New York tributary and a local pond.

Ethan with his 1st fish on his new fly rod
Our first trip produced no fish at the local tributary as conditions were not very favorable due to high, stained and very cold water. Luckily we did find some willing participants at a local pond that seemed more than willing to help us out on that day.

A few days later and we were back at our favorite WNY tributary.  And on this morning we were able to connect with a few fish and even land a nice twenty six inch steelhead buck. We even started to see many suckers moving upstream for their annual spring spawn. It won’t be long now until it will be difficult to drift through a pool and not hook up with at least six or seven suckers to every trout.

The warmer weather and our first dry fly action will come, but for now, I will welcome the colder conditions.