Saturday, April 1, 2017

Today is Saturday, April 1 2017, opening day of Trout in New York State. What that means is any stream that is closed to fishing during the winter months is now fair game for fishing trout. For there are tributaries of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie that are open for trout all year up to the first barrier impassable by fish. As I reviewed at my blogs, I realized that I have not fished much since opening day of 2015. The reason is I had fallen and injured my right shoulder to the point that casting a fly rod was painful. Now that my shoulder has healed, I will be retraining my arm to cast effortlessly.

This week the rain had been in the forecast for the weekend and Thursday night the rain started. It rained steady all day Friday through the night. This morning it was still sprinkling and the water-logged earthworms covered my driveway. I knew that any major river would be muddy and blown out. So I really was not expecting to even fish today. As it turned out, almost by instinct, I found myself headed toward the closest trout stream in my area. I drove past ditches and ponds overflowing their banks. I wondered if I was wasting my time. When I got to my destination I parked my truck and could see the creek was at flood stage and running with chocolate milk.

Presenting a fly in these conditions can be futile. I took some photos of the water and thought "Well I'm here now, might as well fish. So I looked at my fishing license and remembered I had purchased it in December of 2016. That was the last time I had my fly line in the water. (I still need to blog about that day) Blogging is a nice way of keeping a fishing journal and I can review the conditions like today. It's about 38-40 degrees, cloudy and dank. Several Trout Derby's are happening today so fishermen flock to those places leaving the quite streams available for those who seek secluded fishing holes like this one.

I got back into my truck and parked upstream where a small feeder creek dumped into the main stream. The water was much clearer, stained, but not muddy, almost green. This was certainly better water to fish. My thinking was the trout must know about these areas where they can go to avoid the churning torrent of gritty flood waters. I reasoned also that because of all the earthworms ascending to certain death by drowning, this would be what the trout would be feeding on. And I was right. I collected a half dozen trout worms from the parking lot and draped one over a single no.8 hook. I began drifting the worm just above where the clear water met the cloudy water of the main stream.

After about fifteen minutes I moved further up the creek. The churning water was not so violent and revealed a nice area to drift in about three feet of water. Just three passes with live bait, and this thirteen inch wild brown trout was landed. After a couple more worms were stripped from my hook. I tied on some sucker spawn and felt a few hits. Nothing more. I fished some other parts of the creek without success. I packed up my rain soaked gear and headed home feeling "This was the start of a memorable trout season."

I know a lot of fishermen were not satified with the weather today. Thinking like a fish was the key to fooling the fish today.

Have faith and the fish will hit.

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