Fool’s Spring

It’s been warm pretty much everywhere.  I can see a future — a week or so from now — in which there is very little snow left in the woods.  This afternoon was positively spring-ish.  I even saw a trout rise yesterday.  Undoubtedly this is a fool’s spring, but I’m happy to play the fool.

Yesterday I proved once again that ducks rarely spook trout.  In this instance, a group of six mallards swam right over an array of fish feeding in shallow on the sand.  I didn’t push the mallards — I think if they’d loudly taken flight, the trout would have fled — but I urged the ducks along and the trout fed right underneath them.   The river is very low and clear right now.  This can make the approach very difficult and the angler must be the hunter in these conditions.  Or dress like a duck I guess.

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A fresh new blockage…to be turned into trout cover!

Because I’ve had little slivers of free time to fish, I’ve focused on the nymph…but I did swing a streamer through a pool yesterday and did quite well.  Black streamer, fished slow.  Some things never change, and a winter trout’s predilection for black streamers seems constant enough to consider a dictum.  As for nymphs, I’ve done best on subtle but fast-sinking flies fished on very light tippet.  The Perdigon style flies really do well this time of year.

These mid-winter warmups offer a quick-peek toward spring.  I’ve been filling a new fly-storage system with brand new flies, hence the sudden emergence of shoddy tying videos…

And I’ve got a lot more to tie.  Meanwhile, I’ve had the kids  getting their own fishing gear in order on the nicer weekend afternoons.  Some winters are so brutal as to leave the angler far behind the curve, scrambling in early May to find last year’s floatant when the trout you didn’t expect to rise is in fact rising, with gusto, to the first few cold hendrickson duns of the season.  Not me.  Not this year.   Flies are being produced rapidly and with purpose.  Next, three different leader styles:  streamer, big dry, small dry  (all tapering not to tippet but instead to a tippet ring).   A mild winter sure is nice to work with.  Outdoor projects, including boat work, take precedence over what would typically be a month or two of shoveling snow.  If anything, this warm weather makes me even hungrier for the dry fly fishing of spring…even as I enjoy the subtler pleasures of winter.

We’ve had a blast tying on Saturdays (Free Fly Tying Saturdays).  We’ve been pushed to capacity, so if you’d like to attend, please do RSVP to [email protected].  It’s this Saturday, 9 am – 12 pm.  We welcome tyers of all abilities.  If you have a vise and tools, bring them.  If not, well, don’t sweat it!  See, it’s fun:

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And here’s a little video of a sweet brown in shallow.  He ignored the ducks and provided a burst of joy on a gray afternoon.

Previous Fishing Reports

The bright days

The bright days…we’ve had a bunch of them.  Driving south today, I’d peg the spring-line somewhere around Clare.  Saw Red-winged Blackbirds in the cattails, and open water in Houghton Lake,

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Trout are Beautiful

I think…that trout are beautiful.   Not to paraphrase Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I read far too long ago to accurately paraphrase anyway, but it seems there

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