Sunday, May 8, 2011

Steak & Eggs With A little Hot Sauce

Yesterday was a great day to be in the woods.  Mid state New Hampshire is just starting to show strong signs of coming through what seemed like the longest of winters sleep.   The fiddleheads are well sprouted and I was bitten by the first black fly of the season.

Another aspect to this time is a transition from universal high water run off in rivers that are below lakes and the timing of optimum minimum lake level for the summer holiday season.  The high flow creates places to find large fish that have emigrated over spillways and the quickly lowered flow gives the opportunity to find them.  This becomes the perfect time to be there.  If you look at the the USGS river flow in cubic feet per second, for many New England locations, you will see that these graphs made a dramatic downward motion over the last week.  The keepers are starting to hold back water by putting in boards that raise the height of their dam.  Prior to this time, the rivers flowing into these same lakes are seeing their annual migrations of lake dwellers running to up river pools.  Some are stopped by additional dams and some travel deep into the woods.  The farther north you go, the later these events are happening.  You can still catch these rights of spring in most locations in the North East.

This is a magical time of regeneration and birth that has different results according to situation.  At some places, the river below dams are now low enough to produce hatches.  Fish from below can move up close to the dam to feed. Others are following suckers, walleye and perch for some tasty treats. Smelt are on the move and attract salmon and the rainbows are just doing their spawning ritual and have access to a smorgasbord  after the nuptials are complete.

There are many of these locations and each has it's unique aspect that makes it a valuable possibility to catch large trout and salmon.

This is a time for steak and eggs for our fly patterns.  If you want to attract a large fish then feed it a meal.  Eggs, worms, leeches, smelt, spawn and sculpin are all highly prized tastes in a discerning pallet.

OK, back to yesterday.  The rainbows were as hot as steelhead in the warming water.  The smallest fish we netted was 18" with two others at 21" and one that was a real giant that snapped a 4X tippet after a hard fought down stream battle.  The flies that were the big winners were Floro Pink San Juan Micro Worms, Hot Orange Red Dot Eggs, Red Belly White Sucker Spawn, Pale Yellow Sucker Spawn and Red Butt Woody Streamers.  Although we tried Caddis Larva, Emergers, Pheasant Tails and Hairs Ears not one fish was hooked with these insect replicating patterns.  We saw no surface activity that indicated that fish were even there.

The transition will happen in very short order.  These same locations we will be fished with emergers and dry flies and will transform over a week or two at most.  For the time before the hatches, hit them big and hit them low and make it bright.  The results can be dramatic.


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