Opening day thoughts…
I’m sure by now everyone know that opening day for the regular season of trout opens this coming Saturday. For many people, it’s a day that they have waited for since the last day of the 2018 season. It’s a right of spring, that involves organizing gear, dusting of the rod, checking line, leaders and tippet, hoping your waders don’t have any leaks, and hoping that when they open their fly boxes they will have ample supply. It’s a tradition that no matter what the weather, folks with gather with friends and family to fish their favorite honey hole. Other anglers see it as just another day. They have been putting their time in when ever the conditions are right all winter. Their gear is ready to go and their methods and strategies for catching fish won’t change much. They will be able to fish waters that have been closed all winter, which is a good change for them, however they will also have more people fishing around them.
Opening day strategies and methods are as easy as they’ll be all season. Dress appropriately, it’s usually chilly and snowing or raining. Saturdays forecast is for great angler comfort. Air temps in the Low 50’s first cast, mid 60’s last cast and partly cloudy. Trout will be lethargic as water temps will still be in the mid to upper 30’s. They are generally not to leader shy this early in the season and in many cases, fish caught in April are larger wild fish. Have a stiff 9ft, 5 or 6weight rod. Have some method of getting your line to sink fast like having sinking line or sink tips and no-lead split shoot. A short leader, 7-8 foot and heavy tippet 3 or 4x will serve you well. Carry a good supply of weighted nymphs and streamers.
Keep your fly select simple as well. No need for dry flies or or emerger type patterns right now. You may see some blue quills or BWO’s hatching in April, but fish rarely move on them. Until water temps start to push the 50 degree mark, fish will be looking down for food, and will only feed when it’s something they don’t have to move far or fast for. So you’ll be more successful covering every inch of the water bouncing bouncing bottom with a good assortment of nymph and streamer. With streamers don’t be afraid to through 4-6 inch natural and attractor types. Some favorites are muddler minnows, all colors of woolly bugger , 3 river minnows and Clouser minnows, Mickey finns, muddy buddies and slump busters(zonker style). My favorites nymphs range in size as well. For small stuff I like PT’s, copper Johns, hare’s ears and princes. For large I like gold and black stones, Double D’s and Turds. While I’m not a big fan of using squirmy worm material, anything tied with it is a productive lure.
The open day Otter Creek Classic kicks off is 11th annual event this weekend. Stream and Brook guides will once again be a force to reckon with. Good luck to everyone who is participating and good luck to everyone just out for the fun of it.