The mild air temperatures and warmth of the sun were much welcomed relief from the extremely cold temperatures last weekend. Unfortunately the fishing conditions as a result of the warm weather were not as welcoming. Until this weekend here in the Central Pennsylvania area, snow and ice previously covered the ground from last week’s weather events. With air temperatures in the 50’s on both Saturday and Sunday, the snowmelt created a large influx of very cold water draining into our river systems. Snowmelt runoff drastically lowers the overall temperatures of water systems, which directly correlates to inactive, sluggish trout (As discussed in a previous post, Winter Fly Fishing: The Snow Melt Effect).
I decided to take advantage of the comfortable weather, even though I didn’t think that the fishing would prompt anything to write home about (I guess that doesn’t really make sense because I am writing about it regardless). This weekend’s air temperatures and the warmth from the sun have me craving the spring season. You would think that a weekend on the water filled with nice weather would help relieve cabin fever, but I’m inclined to believe that it will serve as part of the problem rather than the solution.
The streams in the area were very crowded, it was evident that many of those anglers that hung up the rods for the winter were back on the water due to the weather swing. Crowded streams are the only part of the spring season that I am not looking forward to. I thoroughly enjoy having solitude while on the water, even if it is cold and the fishing is a bit slower. It will soon be that time of year where I will resort back to the sections of water that see less pressure.
While first stepping into the water this weekend it was obvious that the water felt very cold, which resulted in sluggish trout. There were still a few fish to be had, but the fishing was much slower than it would have been without the impact of snowmelt. The slower, deep winter water types proved to be the most productive sections of water. Fishing a tailwater below a dam is a good option to avoid the impact of snowmelt. If you do not have access to a tailwater where you live, try to select a section of water with a heavy influence of springs. As far as fly selection, choosing patterns with a little extra flash or bright color seem to help gain the attention of inactive fish.
I purchased an Olympus Stylus TG4 last week to keep with me in my waders each day while guiding and fishing. My first impression of this waterproof, shockproof camera is very positive, however, I will provide a thorough review after further testing over the upcoming months.
I’ve been working on some new content to further progress the experience for readers, stay tuned for more details on that. With the 10 day weather forecast showing colder temperatures ahead, my main focus will remain on refilling fly boxes, gear maintenance, and organization in preparation for a busy spring season. Hang in there trout bums, it won’t be long until there is an abundance of comfortable weather, prevalent hatches, and beautiful wild trout.