Journal notes from quality destinations across the country...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Well, I've been out four times in the last four weeks. Three times on lakes and once on a river, all in my home state. Three weeks ago things were slow and lethargic and the local fly shops have been saying that the fishing cycle is about 4-6 weeks behind. Fishing in early May was sometimes like fishing in March. But I just got back from a lake last night where Spring seemed like it was finally in gear. There were sporadic sightings of Callibaetis Mayflies, Damsel nymphs (and adults), and bomber-sized midges. Exactly what the doctor ordered in a year which, so far, has been all about high water levels, cold temperatures, and lethargic trout.

I took a friend, Gary, out on a two-man pontoon boat and rowed him through some favorite places on the lake. He'd never fly fished before in his life and he was fed up with learning to cast in the front yard. He said he wanted to finally feel the weight of a fish on the end of his line and I was only too happy to oblige him. His casts were simple but improved as the day went on and he had the skills to get the job done, as proven by the fact that he landed several nice fish - the largest, pictured above, was eighteen inches and quite fat.

At one point in the afternoon, I had us within 30 feet of a grassy shoreline and was digging through a gear bag while my partner made a short cast toward shore with a wet fly on an intermediate sink line. I looked up and, just off the end of one oar, saw a plump Rainbow Trout arcing almost four feet in the air. It hadn't made a sound and it didn't seem real until I watched and heard it hit the water with a splash as it continued pulling against the line. I shouted excitedly, "Did you see that?!"

My buddy grinned and looked back at me momentarily as he continued to fight his fish.

"Yah," he replied, sarcastically. "I saw that."

Soon, in the net was another 17-incher. What a great way to welcome in the Spring. A beautiful and warm sunny day on the water with frisky fish feeding aggressively.

Spring couldn't be more welcome.