It is springtime in the Rockies, meteorologically at least. That means its 20 degrees at sunrise, and warms up into the high 40s by mid-afternoon. The sun is creeping higher, back to October heights. The midges hatch all day, and the browns and rainbows are going to town on ‘em, pretty much all day. The wind is the only thing that shuts it down, so days have to be chosen around that, but opportunity knocks. It’s some of the best fishing of the entire year.
This is the spring I’ve been ready for. There are not yet any crowds. Some days there are a few other guys I see only in passing. The fish, too, have been waiting for this. They aren’t too picky, either due to the lack of flies thrown at them the past few months, the new opportunities to feast on some hatches, or both. A few times lately, I’ve actually said to myself and others, “who needs June?” “Who’s missing Montana?” It’s been that good. Good enough that we just stop later in the afternoon while the hatch is still on, and the fish are still rising. Enough is enough, and there will be more the next day. Home before dark. Banker’s hours.
It’s been happening for almost a month, ever since the temperatures started to moderate from the frigid, 24/7 below-freezing crap. Most of the snow has finally melted from the open areas of river corridor. The water flows clear. Fishing #20’s and 6x to 15-20 inch trout feels “normal” after fishing nothing else since October. Life is good, and the fishin’ is easy!
We Keepemwet, put ’em back, catch ’em again and again, and don’t feel a bit bad about it. In fact we rather enjoy it, and enjoy having miles of pools and banks with large “heads up” because of it.
We had a fairly mild winter here in Wisco, but I didn’t have any opportunities to take advantage of our new early season that started the first week of January. The past couple weeks started to warm up, but were accompanied by daily winds of 30-50mph. Then just as all the snow was gone off the lawns, we got another 4 inches yesterday. Frankly, I was glad because we’ll need it for the streams. It’s supposed to warm up into the 60s next week and I might play hooky to wet a line.