Still reheating after a day on the water.  High skies, pure east wind, freezing cold, iced guides,  My body has that good chapped feeling that comes with such conditions.  We fished hard for 99% of the time.  The 1% we didn’t was when I was yacking about something, looking away.  When I looked back at my fly, which should have been resting solitarily on a sand flat, I saw a big trout in its place.  I set the hook and laughed to feel the surprise connection.  It was at the same spot that — a few years ago — I totally roached a big trout that chased my fly across the river and would have been caught had I not decided to set the hook when it opened its mouth, instead of closed it.  Now its wine and winter hats and fishing reports.

So…about that giant rainbow that Max caught…

Max and his dad Joel had been planning this trip for awhile.  It was a March trip, the classic off-season adventure.  Could be snow, sleet, rain.  They got sun, and lots of it.  Oh well, nothing to do but fish hard.  This rainbow is a Holy Water monster, and I’ll bet landing it was a chore:

We’re gonna need a bigger net…

Then, on the last day of the trip, dad Joel came thru with a great brown as the sun dropped and the minutes ran out.  What a pair of great trout.

The fishing has been pretty good all things considered.  If it were fifty degrees and cloudy, that’d be one thing.  But it’s not.  The overnight lows have been near the single digits, and the daytime highs have been fighting to get to forty.  I haven’t seen a cloud in about five days.  These are not ideal conditions, but the fishing has, at times, been plenty fine.

I snuck out for a wade on Sunday afternoon, Michigan State basketball game or not.  It was just too beautiful. The road in was junk — a few inches of muddy slush atop frozen earth.  The sun was pure spring.  The fish truck looks like it went thru a car wash operated by pigs, but that’s part of the thaw.

The drive in

Familiar waters

The wade was worth it even if my patch-job failed on my waders.  You just don’t notice such things when you might catch a brown trout.  It was a pleasant wade thru that last sweet hour of daylight.  I moved three trout, all from backwaters, and landed one.  It was plenty good enough to outweigh the loss of a basketball game.  Fishing sure does provide a sense of priorities.  If I’d been at home watching State lose…

Black and olive streamers fished slowly have been the way to go.  I’ve caught a few trout lately pausing the fly for a long time, like two-strips worth of time, as soon as I can see it during the retrieve (or, if I can’t see it due to glare, after a three or four strips away from the shore).  That’s usually when a tired winter trout will eat it.

Kim with a dandy brown on what is now a lucky fly

The forecast keeps changing and I’m sick of checking it, but also addicted to it.  Right now it’s pretty awesome, with temperatures rising slowly throughout the week.  Fifty degrees on Monday?  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Still, if the forecast holds true, this warm-up should start some good hatches of black stones.  And if the warm-up continues through next week, we might see the first blue wing olives right around April 1st.  In the meantime, some of the very finest streamer and nymph fishing of the season is here.

They aren’t even rising yet, and it’s hard to stay away from the river.


Our March/April classes are full, but a full roster coming soon for a lot of great May classes, schools, and demos.