Well at least for me! I was able to get away for a few hours and took the drive down to the Namekagon River. I double checked all my gear and went through my fly boxes again for the 100th time. I needed to tie some Missy D's. Made short work with those. I lie in bed dreaming of catching my first trout of the year while debating whether I should take the canoe or not. Got up and packed the yota. I still haven't decided to take the canoe yet. Sat in my car for awhile thinking about it; "What the heck, I'm feeling good today and it can't hurt to bring it"...so I strapped on the canoe and off I went.
Stopped at a bridge crossing to get my waders on and put the fly rods together. Gazed at the river and thanked the Lord for creating something that you and I can enjoy. Quickly decided that nymphs were the choice in the morning. No surface activity at all. A few stoneflies were scurrying about looking for something warm to cling onto. Thick shelf ice lined the banks with large chunks deciding whether it was time to let go of Winter. I could hear ice slipping into the water as if large trout were bashing bugs on the surface. I decided to fish a few holes near the bridge to wet a line and make sure I had no leaks in the waders. A few minutes later I hooked into my first trout. A nice looking 15" brownie. Landed a few more fish at the first hole and headed upstream to fish a few more deep slots. Landed several more fish on the double nymph rig. It feels so good to be on the water again. I take a few minutes to record the water temps and make a note about the weather. Thirty eight degrees! No wonder my toes started to go numb.
Now I had to decide where I wanted to put the canoe in. I told myself that I needed to explore some new areas of the river and headed to the nearest canoe landing. Unloaded the canoe and with my push pole in hand, I made my way up river taking mental notes and pictures of likely holding areas. I find it much easy to see the deeper runs and holes when your standing in a canoe. Got out and nymphed a few of the deeper runs. They all had fish willing to bite. The air temperatures continued to climb into the mid 40's. The water temperature did not, still 38-40 degrees by mid day.
I poled about a mile up river. Then took a quick nap at my destination. As the day progressed, I noticed more stoneflies flopping on the surface and a few trout rising to them. I tie on a tandem wet fly combination to fish downstream and to cover more water. What a lucky guess! The fish were looking up and hitting the flies aggressively.
It was a fantastic way to start the season! I want to wish everyone a very enjoyable 2011 season and don't forget to be thankful for every opportunity you have to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
Faith, Family, Friends and Fly Fishing!