Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting a jump on opening day

I generally avoid the opening day of trout season since I don’t enjoy the crowds carting their white buckets full of trout for the freezer. Instead, I opted to do some maintenance work at church and help get the house ready for some house guests who are visiting this week. I did however take the afternoon before opening day off and fished a nearby trout management area. These TMA’s are open all year round but are catch and release during the off-season. I had hoped that I would be able to find a little quite before opening day.

The stream was up a bit from the last time I visited due to a heavy rainstorm earlier in the week. Despite the increased flows the stream was clear and there were quite a few people out, warming up for opening day. After a little walk, I was able to find a nice stretch of stream to myself. In the first riffle/pool combination, I picked up a small brown on a bead-head pheasant tail and partridge (second from the left in the previous post). Although with the increased flows I was not confident that the flies were down where they needed to be. I opted not to add weight hoping to fish some spiders if fish began rising. It wasn’t long before I saw a splashy rise in some heavier shallow riffles above me. I usually pass up this location, so I decided to work my way up and take a look. I saw one more rise but nothing consistent. I was fishing a tandem rig with the bead head pheasant tail and partridge on point and a March brown wingless wet as a dropper. I worked the riffles and picked up a decent brown in the tailout. It’s always nice to pick up a fish or two from a new location. I’ll be checking this area again throughout the season to see if holds fish under more normal flows.

After a couple more drifts through the riffles, I moved up to a glide where I have seen fish rising over the past few weeks. Another brown took the pheasant tail in the shallows as a few early black stone flies began showing up on the water. There was a period of about 20-30 minutes of steady vigorous rises in the shallows. I worked through the adult stonefly patterns I had with me with absolutely no interest. After going through 3-4 different dries, I quickly switched over to a black spider on point and a grouse and orange dropper and greased the length of the leader. Fishing upstream, I was able to drift the flies a foot or two inside of the opposite bank in less than 1 ft of water. After a bulge near the flies, I lifted the rod and another decent brown was on. After releasing the brown, I saw another subtle rise and drifted the flies through the area and was pleased to see another bulge and a small brook trout attached to the grouse and orange. Catching a pair of fish on north country spiders made the afternoon for me.  I am having a lot of fun with these flies, gaining more confidence with each outing.

The surface activity quickly shut down and I went back to the bead head pheasant tail and partridge/March brown rig and hooked two more browns on the PT but dropped both fish. These also came from runs I do often fish. Overall, another great afternoon.


  1. Nice to get out early. I tend to not fish opening day either. Too many crazies out there. Nice picture of the wild Iris.


  2. Sounds like a sweet outing. It is always nice to find a stretch of water to yourself. NIce work with the spider.

  3. Thanks Shoreman and Trout Magee, glad to hear you are enjoying the posts

  4. Sounds like a perfect day to me. I don't think you have to worry about gaining confidence with the north country spiders. They have been around for a very long time for a good reason....They work! Nice job, keep it up.

  5. Kiwi - Some would say the perfect day is catching a lot of fish. I find more pleasure in learning or gaining experience with something new. There's no doubt these flies catch fish in the hands of those who know how and when to fish them but I still have some learning to do before I would consider myself confident with them.