I normally don't do any fishing until the school year is over in late may. However, I've had some rare weekends open from coaching which have afforded me an early start to fishing this year.
If you have seen any of my posts in the past, you may know that I am pretty into trout fishing (big understatement). My brother and my dad have the same enthusiasm but for musky fishing. They invite me to join them quite often in the summer but I can't usually block out 10 hours to spend on the water with them. I was able to join them on the river for a short trip two weeks ago though. We were working some staging areas as the musky spawn draws near, and my dad connected first.
A few hours later, my attention span had been used up many times over and I began casting for trout. Within 5 casts I had my first trout of the year, a 20" brown.
Its interesting to mention that theres a whole row of lures in the musky tool box that are exactly 20" long. I'm sure the stocked trout here contribute to the pre and post spawn diet of larger, toothy fish.
My brother and dad kept casting for big fish and before we left my brother scored on a smaller musky. We ended with 3 fish on the day, mine being the smallest by a factor of two.
I don't have much to share from the first day of trout as it was generally a disappointment.
I went fishing on the first day of trout with an old friend. We went to a popular stream. We didn't even see a fish. We didn't see or hear of anyone else catching a trout either. This is a stream where I have seen people fishing illegally for weeks. Repeated calls to the PAFBC have had no effect likely due to a lack of officers. We left that stream and did well at another stream that gets less pressure.
I did not plan on fishing today, but a 2 hour window opened up during the late morning and I headed out to an unstocked and "polluted" stream that has been good to me the last few years. This stream has carved out an incredibly deep and steep valley.
I started just below the log in the picture above.
I found it hard to get into the groove knowing that I can't start fishing on a regular basis for over a month. I was just glad to be outside for a few hours. I didn't fish spinners today because of the cold air temps (43 while I was fishing) and the fact that I am going to make a return trip here in a month or so. I just worked the deeper, slower spots and took more pictures than casts.
The fiddleheads have nearly straightened out.
The ramps (leeks) are thick in this valley. Evidence of harvest was easily detectable. I was glad to see that whoever was digging these ramps just took a few from each patch.
But when I came across water like this, I put the camera in its case and got down to business.
And almost all of the likely spots produced.
My favorite streamside flowers are the red trilliums.
It was nice to see all of the spring seeps flowing after the dry year we had in 2016.
This waterfall produced only two tiny brookies. I suspect that it might have been the target of recent fish harvest by the ramp digger or his friends.
This was where I turned around. There are still miles of beautiful water ahead, but there are no trout as the waterfalls have been a barrier to their re-colonization of this stream.
On the walk out I noticed that the blue cohosh leaves were showcasing water's properties of adhesion and cohesion.
I enjoyed taking time to observe the streamside flora today. This will be the 5th year I have been fishing my same repertoire of local streams. Its fascinating to see the changes that occur to the stream bed and the banks from season to season.