Boing...spring has sprung. Warm weather is here. Such a special time of the year.
Our olfactory system awakens. The smell of the earth, the soil, grass, and especially the dank smell of the river gives the sub conscience a push to explore. Back trails open up. A stroll along the river checking beaver dams and other favorite sites is part of the preparation for the April 30 trout opener.
The rivers are in excellent shape. High water, tannin colored but not silted is a great start. The river offers massive amounts of food during the spring run off, causing Steelhead Trout to move up steam into very shallow gravel beds. It is there they make their redds. The Rainbow carves out a depression and their spring rights begin. These redds are obvious to the eye for the rest of the year. Polished holes mid river are easily identified. Unlike the Brook trout that seem to return to the exact gravel bed under deep brush covered banks year after year, the Steelhead beds are random gravel spots. It is a thrill to watch several 24 inch trout on their redds mid stream in a foot of water mid day. The aggressiveness of this species is their weakness as trout fisherman cast nymphs and spawn to them. Getting your rig in their face triggers an attack and the fight begins. The Steelhead fisherman is a special type with techniques so radically different from those of us who fish hatches this time of year.
Warm weather brings out the bugs and year 'round, gear restricted, waters on the inland streams can be fun before all rivers open April 30. Winter is over. River temperatures are still cold at about 48 F, hopefully this warm snap will raise them into the 55 F range.
The Peepers are active as the swamps warm up first, the streams are not far behind. Time to create new memories for those so-o-o distant sleepless cold nights of next winter!
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.