Hello Mr. Brown Trout! After zeroing in 3 spots yesterday (the 40+ mph wind didn't help...), the wind died down and the 4th spot produced multiple hook-ups and even more strikes that I did not manage to hook. #18 Midge/Caddis nymphs seemed to be the ticket yesterday. Bumped into Zach St. Amand at day's end, he pricked some fish while fishing in knee boots with his two young boys. Flows are currently beautiful, after 7+ months of low water, we are at a total flow in the permanent Catch & Release area of 323cfs (205cfs from the dam in Riverton, plus 11cfs from the Still River). I would call this a medium & normal flow for the 2nd week of March. FYI I find March to be an above average month for catching above average trout. I think a combination of rising water temps, increased hatching, plus behavioral drift, gets the bigger fish fired up. Make sure to move around, as the trout are shifting positions this month, and finding their exact lies is part of solving the equation. The bigger trout will select the best feeding spots and push the lesser fish out of those spots.
Stones are all hatching well most days- Tiny Winter Black Stone sz 18-24 (Capnia), Early Black sz
14-16, and Early
Brown sz 14-16. Trout do rise to the Stones at moments for sure, and we have flies here by Don & Bruce to imitate them, but trout feed daily on the
nymphs. Specific Stonefly nymph imitations work, as do
generic flies like Princes, Pheasant Tails and Hare's Ears. Despite "the
saying the prime fishing in the winter
is 11am-3pm, I often do best from mid-afternoon until dark, when water
temps are normally highest (except during times of heavy snowmelt).
Other bugs to look for include Winter Caddis sz 18-24
into the afternoon), and Midges sz 22-32 (typically afternoons). For
Midge larva & pupa nymphed deep, think black, olive, or
red. The Winter Caddis hatch best after cool to cold
nights, mild nights actually make for light hatches of them. Stones
usually hatch better on mild days. Nymphing
remains the most consistent producer of trout, but streamers are have
been effective as well (just remember to fish them slow & deep
first, and if that doesn't work, strip them in faster.
Good nymph choices include: nymphs sz 12-18 (Princes, Quasimodo Pheasant
Tails, Hare's Ears, Baetis/BWOs, Hot Spot Attractors, etc.), Rainbow Warriors sz 16-20, Midges sz 16-22 (black, olive, red), Yellow Larva sz 18, Winter/Early Stones
sz 14-18 (black, brown), Caddis Larva sz
12-18 (olive/green), Cased Caddis sz 8-16, and Perdigons sz 14-20
(black, olive, brown,
yellow). Egg imitations are often very effective in March, so make sure
to have some egg flies (small Glo
Bugs/Sucker Spawn/Otter Eggs) in your arsenal. Although smaller nymphs
have been more consistent than bigger ones, don't rule out bigger
Nymphs sz 8-14 (brown, golden/yellow, black) and #8 Mops, sometimes
bigger nymphs will also pull
bigger fish. Anytime the water comes up or gets off-color, think
bigger/gaudier flies (Stones, Mops, Squirmies/San Juans, egg flies,
Streamers have been excellent of late. Experiment with
colors & retrieves to
find what's best at any given moment (it changes). I would also try to
make your presentations mostly slow & deep due to the cooler water
both swinging and slow retrieves are good choices. Experiment though,
sometimes even in cold water the trout will respond to a fast retrieve,
but overall in winter they like it slower.
"Keystone Fly Fishing" (covering PA in
detail by local guides/experts) is out now, and it's an incredible book
if you want to explore that state (and trust me, you do!).
Almost 600 pages of detailed info by 9 different PA authors, tons of
beautiful color photos and fly suggestions, numerous stream maps & a
great PA hatch chart, this book is the new Pennsylvania fly fishing
bible. They don't sugar coat things either- streams that were once
famous & great but aren't anymore are described accurately, and if a
stream is marginal, they will tell you that it isn't worth fishing
after a certain date in the spring. If you ever wanted to explore PA,
this is the book to get.
Devin Olsen's & Lance Egan's new
"Modern Nymphing" DVD's are available now and selling
fast, we are on our third batch. They did a great job, with clear
excellent cinematography (filmed by Gilbert Rowley of flytying123.com-
excellent website, check it out). Devin & Lance are 2 of the top
members of Flyfishing Team USA- both scored an individual bronze medal
in the World Flyfishing Championships in 2015/2016 respectively, and
both years Team USA also garnered team medals (bronze & silver), so
you could say these two are legit, truly world class anglers who have
held their own against the best in the world (historically France,
Spain, Czech Republic, and Poland). Devin's website is
tacticalflyfisher.com if you want to check it out and watch a DVD
preview, he also has many insightful fly tying & fly fishing
articles on there.
The new book "Nymphing The New Way: French leader fishing for trout"
is in stock again- it focuses on Euro-style nymphing using
very long leaders, which is deadly indeed. The first 2 batches sold out
fast. Keep your eye out for "Nymph Masters" by Jason Randall
coming out in April (they keep changing the release date).
The MDC did their fall trout
stocking in early November, typically they put in 1,000+ fish. This batch was stocked in the upper river
from the Goodwin/Hogback Dam in Riverton downstream to Whittemore Pool.
The state & the FRAA both stocked the upper seasonal Catch &
Release section last fall also. Close to 4,500 trout were stocked in the
upper 4 miles of river in fall of 2016, and that entire section is C&R from September until Opening Day April 8th.
UpCountry acquired a ton of Simms closeouts that are on
sale. There is still a large selection of Men's
& Women's: Gore-tex jackets, packs, slings, shirts, pants, tee
shirts, and a few shoes/wading boots/waders. Sizes are limited (the
Men's is mostly in Large, and the Women's is all in Medium) and there
only a couple of each item so when they are gone they are gone. Simms Tee Shirts
size large are buy one get one free.
We have a limited selection of Simms &
Umpqua Packs and Vests 40% off. In addition to these items, UpCountry
will price match just about any sale or deal you can find on the
internet.... we appreciate your business and recognize that sometimes a
deal will pop up online that you can't resist.... just bring it to our
We are always looking for good trade-in fly rods and reels to sell on our
website. If you are looking for some new equipment we will gladly put
the value of your used gear toward new items in our store. Give us a
call to make an appointment.... our prices on trade ins are typically
higher than found anywhere else.
If you like our fishing report, please consider buying your gear from
us. We generally ship the same day, for free anywhere in the country on
all but the smallest orders. Our shop can only exist with your patronage.