Snow is on its way to NE as I speak. A quick check of the radar confirmed that we appear to be in the middle of a 4” to 8” snowfall band. I hope the temperatures are cold enough so that it is all snow. A half a foot of snow will take a few days to melt and much of it will soak in, replenishing subsurface moisture that is currently lacking. A good rain will just end up as a runoff for the most part and won’t get stored in our limestone sponges for future spring output.
I spent some time on the water both days this weekend. Fishing was a little slow on Saturday by my standards (my first outing of the year), but we still had fish to the net. Today was better and after I recorded my results, ended up being average. We stuck to the nymphs today despite a small 2:00 to 3:00 BWO hatch. And by small, I mean small BWO’s (#20 or smaller) and small in numbers. I did see a few fish rise, but didn’t attempt to fool them and stuck to my nymphs. I started with a #12 Copper John (in copper) and my Buzz Cut Narly. I didn’t change the entire time. I guess I did well enough when my fishing companion approached me mid-way through the outing and said, ‘what are you using?’ Always a good sign.
March and April could produce anywhere from #20 BWO’s to #12 Dark Hendrickson. I tend to go big with my mayfly nymphs now because I can, hence the #12. I will always be fishing a midge in the #16 to 18 range….midges are always in season! Caddis should be coming off the water next month and a caddis nymph in the #14 or #16 variety would be good now.
At one point in time today, there was a pretty good ‘midge cloud’ over my head. Although I did not see any surface action on them, make sure you have some Griffith’s Gnats and a midge emerger ready to fish. One outing last fall, a midge emerger saved a rough morning of fishing!!!
Flies to Fish in the coming weeks:
Nymphs: Copper John, Prince, Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, (#18 to #12)
Caddis , Pink Squirrel (#16 to #14) Midge (#20 to #16)
Dries: Blue Wing Olive (#20 to #16) Griffith’s Gnat (#20 to #18) – feel free to fish a soft
hackle/emerger during the hatch too….I usually fish it in tandem with my dry fly.
Buggers: Throw them if you hafta
Fishing report by Kent Kleckner of Bear Creek Anglers in Decorah, Iowa.