Late winter and early spring are great times to get out and spend quality time on the water. As the weather starts warming up, the trout become more active, making persuading them to eat your fly easier. Here are a few things I think about to help you have a successful and enjoyable time on the water:
- Look for rising water temperatures: As the water temperature increases, the trout will become more active and feed more frequently. Please pay attention to the water temperature, and try to fish when it is between 40-60°F. Any colder than this, and it is merely an activity in patience.
- Pay attention to hatch patterns: During this time of year, you may see the first hatches of insects. Pay attention to the types of insects that are hatching and match your fly patterns accordingly. Wind and sun are also important factors; the sunnier, the faster the insects’ wings can dry after emerging, and the less time they will spend on the water’s surface, making them vulnerable to fish.
- Fish slow and deep: The water is still frigid, so that the trout will be sluggish and lethargic. To increase your chances of success, fish your flies slow and deep, and let them sit in the strike zone for a while before retrieving them. Use nymphs and streamers; the trout will look for readily available food during the late winter and early spring. Nymphs and streamers imitate these food sources and can be very effective during this time of year. I find myself relying on soft hackles to seal the deal, as they can be fished deep or just under the surface as emergers.
- Be patient: The fishing may be slow sometimes, but it’s essential to be patient and wait for the right moment. Watch your indicator closely, pay attention to any changes in the water and weather, and be sure to really take your time and pick apart each current seam and depth level with your flies.
In conclusion, late winter and early spring are great times to be on the river. Paying attention to rising water temperatures, hatches fishing slow and deep, and being patient can increase your chances of having a successful and enjoyable time on the water.