Photo: Andy Molloy
What a difference a year makes, last year at this time the fishing was gang busters, with water temps reaching 50 degrees already on some smaller rivers and streams. But then again, last year was a weird exception- the ice went out in March, the governor opened the season a week early, there was virtually no runoff, all resulting in mid-May conditions in mid-April. It was a good time, life was good. Until the warm spring led to one of the hottest and driest summers in recent memories, which made things tough earlier than usual as water temps shot in the mid-70's pretty quickly.
This year it looks like things are little more in sync with the norm. A slow, steady runoff season with little to no flooding, and average temps and precipitation. Water temps on small rivers are still hovering around the 40 degree mark. The good new is that the flows are moving in the right direction- down. This week alone I saw the high water mark on a favorite beat drop a foot from the beginning of the week to the end. There has been some sporadic midge activity, and of course the early black stones are doing their thing- but all of this means that we are still a little ways off until water temps get up to around the magic five-oh mark.
That doesn't mean don't fish! Fish are being caught, but you better be ready to work for them. The good news is that this week looks like some nice weather ahead with some warmer air temps both day and night.
Might be just the nudge we need to get things going.