And so it begins – after a long winter we head out to the local lakes in search of early season trout. The ice is fresh off and the hope is the trout will be hungry. Its a fine line between ice off and water temperatures that send the trout to cooler water and largely inaccessible to a stillwater fly fisherman.
By many accounts the weather is fantastic – blue sky and warm. Not necessarily optimal for fishing but it sure beats cold and snow.
We arrive at the first lake, hurry to organize an accumulation of stuff and hit the water. With extra layers on the body and float tubes loaded with an almost infinite arsenal of flies tied through the long winter we head out in search of rainbows. The rumour mill has already started – a large one was caught in this very lake just yesterday.
Getting reacquainted with the float tube goes smoothly. I forgot how much effort it can take to move push into it the wind. But I’m not complaining. I remind myself these things are not built for speed.
Thinking early season the first choice is to fish the lake edge, along the drop off but either the fish aren’t there or they are not interested in eating. Circling the lake several times produces no results so we decide to try our luck at the next lake. This one holds brook trout. It has been productive in the past but has seen some lean years of late. Hope springs eternal!
This time, the evidence of trout is more encouraging. Fishing the shoreline structure still seems the best bet. Although I find it pretty quiet, numerous hits and a couple hook ups for the others in our group spur us on.
If patience and persistence are fishing virtues, then I guess I am rewarded – a single brook trout obliges me and after an energetic struggle a nice brook trout comes to my net. Briefly admiring his green sides and multi-coloured spots, I slip him back into the water and he disappears.
My day on the water comes to an end soon after – probably just as the good fishing is about to begin. No doubt that will be the story tomorrow.