Before this little cool down–

–the hendricksons, olives, and stones were hatching pretty well and spreading throughout the river system.  By the weekend, into next week, and right through Opening Day I think this is going to be a pretty good dry fly spring.  I expect the hendricksons to really take over when the river warms back up Friday and Saturday, mixing in eventually with the spring caddis.  All the branches of river are wadeable, low and clear for this time of year.  Already, some nice dry fly trout have been caught.

Matt with a day-off big fish that was just nosing duns

What this means to us fly fishers is that we can spend our afternoons in a state of watchful enthusiasm, hunting for signs of rising fish.  To me, this means wading a beat of water eyeing the soft tail-outs and seams, paying special attention to the side of the river where the wind is blowing the bugs, and waiting for a good fish to rise.  I enjoy all types of fishing, fly or otherwise, but I particularly enjoy hunting for feeding fish.  A dank, overcast hendrickson day is about as good as it gets for this style of fishing.  Be on the water from 2 pm – 5 pm.  See what happens.

Even the thrashers are out and about

The other afternoon I went looking for some dry fly fishing.  This begins in a vehicle, driving to accesses and peering at the water.  I really enjoy doing this.  I don’t know why.  One spot I always check is a bridge.  I park right on the bridge, check both ways, and look upstream.  On the day in question, I looked upstream and a nice trout fed right in the bubble line.  There were a few spinners, some henny duns, some BWOs.  Alright!  I parked, got in my waders, and waded up into casting position.  I figured I’d tie a proper dry fly leader, and hopefully the fish would feed sometime between the 3x and the 5x knot.  Well, it didn’t.  I waited, and waited, and the bugs kept floating down the bubble line.  Stuff it.  I went upstream, found two rising fish, caught them, and then went back down to the big one in the bubble line.  Nothing.

I pulled anchor, so to speak.  I drove to another access, stomped all over the banks, never saw a trout rise.  The bugs thinned out.  Done.

Fine.  A good day.

I got back in the car, and, on the way home, drove over the same bridge.  I flicked my eyes upstream and in that half-second, I swear, that same good trout rose in that bubble line.  No!  I thought to stop, but floored the gas pedal instead.  There’ll be other days.  But that fish has been added to the 2021 hit list.  And so it begins…

The last logjam in a small winter habitat project on the mainstream

Our restaurant opens for take out/outside dining this weekend, and the dining room will be filled with on-sale items to make up for the fly show that didn’t happen this year (or last year!).  We still have a few rooms open for this weekend, and good openings next week.

Spring Catalog is here!

Click here to read it:  Gates Spring Gear Guide