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On your mark, get set - - - -whoa!!!

Posted on April 27 2018

A check of my fishing logs revealed that the only time I've been skunked for April was back in 1993.  (In 2011 I managed to land but one fish.)  The best April fishing comes when the reservoirs are below the lip of the dam and there is plenty of sunshine and warm temps.  This April has seen cold, cloudy, windy weather with lots of snow run off and this week, rain. With water levels as high as they are there are few safe wading opportunities.  Boat fishermen are at a huge advantage and some throwing streamers have done well.  There are alewives in the river and the trout (both river fish and the big washovers) are dining on them.

That said, the bugs are having trouble waiting any longer.  I can't be everywhere every day but this week I've spent a lot of time driving up and down the river system looking for bugs and rising trout.  Until yesterday I'd seen nothing.  Yesterday in a 10/15 mph wind there was a fishable hatch of paraleps on the West Branch.  There were, however, a couple of problems.  At 2,500 CFS, no wade fishermen could get in the river and at that water level no fish were rising to eat them.

Today I found Quill Gordons on the East Branch.  With the spectra of a " zero for April" on my mind I opened my Christmas present (new Simms Waders - thanks Kids) and waded out into the river.  Putting it in it's most favorable light, it was a modest hatch with a bug every ten or fifteen feet, but the trout were on 'em!  For about 10 minutes there were about half a dozen fish rising within casting range.  In that ten minutes I had a refusal and hooked and landed a 16 inch brown. I quickly dried off my fly, looked up and it was over.  Never saw another fish rise.  The bugs continued to hatch but the fish didn't rise.

Drove back to the WB where I had seen the paraleps yesterday and there were at least three times as many today floating down the 2,500 cfs of water, unmolested. I didn't see a fish rise but I did see two boats anchored in slack water below islands.  They may have had rising fish.

The outlook?  This weekend, no.  Saturday is supposed to be warmer than today but really, how much time do you want to spend on the road for a few minutes fishing.  Sunday, with the predicted high of forty, go to church and pray for warm dry weather.  This coming week?  Call in sick, take a personal day, lie to your spouse (gender correct) and GO, GO, GO!!!


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