March Madness Indeed

Yep, it’s the ides of March, beware if your names is Julies Caesar, if not …. fret not because the fishing season is here. A friend and I crept around on the ice shelves lining Rock Creek yesterday. And a gloriously warm day it was, in fact one of us got rather sun burnt. The water is low and of course darn cold. Recorded temperatures of 38 and 39 degrees. The leak in my waders’ right foot confirmed what the thermometer was telling me. Rather nippy.

This would be the spot to tell you that the fishing was hot. Well it wasn’t red hot, but maybe at least luke warm, maybe better than luke warm. It was pretty damn good and better than anticipated. Fishing was a down low and slow affair with nymphs or near nymphs (pink nuclear worms). The fish, while active, were not aggressive and neither would you be if you were swimming in 39 degree water. Truth be told, it was difficult at times to discern between hooking the bottom and hooking a fish. A number of fish were half ass hooked and quickly lost. Unfortunately the two largest fish of the day kicked my butt in just such a fashion and yes, there were others …. funky feels out there yesterday, fishing via braille of sorts.

First of 2022
Happy and healthy after the winter
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Final Days

Well if you look at the calendar, it’s the middle of October, fishing will be slowing down significantly over the next month and then …. it’s over. Bottom line is that if you still got the need for spotted fish, you’d best get r done. And as of right now, the autumn beauty of the river and creek bottoms is still well worth the gander. But that too shall soon cease Get it when you can.

It’s been interesting since I last checked in. Air temps have generally been warm to very warm …..except for the 12″ of snow we received a week ago. The white stuff is gone and it did marvelous things for the volume of water in our local waters. Rock Creek was pretty much dried up two weeks ago. But now it’s somewhat difficult to cross. That’s a telling story of the amount of precipitation received and the fact that FINALLY, the irrigators have shut down the withdrawal ditches. I could go on and on about the lack of water this year, but I’m going to choose to be watchful and an optimist. Time shall tell how much, if any, adversity befell the trout and all the other itty bitty critters that live or depend on clean clear water. Suffice it to say, it was a tough year to be a fish.

One can’t just sit and stew and brew, so out to the rivers I have ventured. The missions were simple, soak up the beautiful when it still last and store enough of to make it through what is suppose to be a very nasty winter. The scenery has been stunning and the fishing has certainly been better than expected. The browns are beginning to spawn and their attitudes and coloration reflect their focus, so please watch where you are stepping. I’m noticing a number of spawning beds nestled in the gravels along the stream edges. Given the difficulties these fish experienced this summer, every redd, every egg, and every fry matters.

Catching has not been what I’d describe as rocket science. The usual streamers are working just fine. It’s more a matter of getting the big and uglies in front of the fish, they usually do the rest. Rainbows have seemed to favor smallish nymphs in the riffles and I’ve seen some real nice fish caught over the last few weeks on #16 beaded headed whatevers. Browns, as usual have favored girdle bugs …. no news there.

It’s going fast …. might want to find your snow shovel ….. the end is near (so to speak).

And one last thought …. If you like what you see, thank the staff photographer and his smarty pants phone. My camera is toast but his works wonders ….

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Years that is, it’s been that long since the tragedy of 9/11. Hard to believe and harder yet to relive the events of the day. As it has been for 20 years, I’ll be on the river. And I’m going to do my very best to catch some trout today. But there will be a part of me that involuntarily lives in the moments and events that took place. I suspect that we shall all fall back to where we where and what we were doing before our world changed.

It’s hard and painful to remember. But remember we must … and maybe if we all try real hard and put away our petty differences, maybe, just maybe we can come together as a United States for at least a little while. We’re stronger together than we are apart. Think about it, take action and make a difference. It shouldn’t be that damn difficult.

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