As yesterday was supposed to be the nicest day of the year (so far)...I couldn't stand just staying inside and tying flies any longer.
Got the "stuff" in the Jeep and headed out. Where isn't important.
When I got to my intended destination....with, incredibly, all the "stuff" I was supposed to have to fish, I headed in.
In the early Spring.......and late Fall.....my most important piece of equipment, surprisingly, isn't my Rod, Reel, Waders, etc.........it;s my thermometer. And yesterday it gave me some very bad news. There was still a lot more snow there than I thought there might be.....hence.....32* melt water was going downhill into the stream. I figured the water temps might (key word, there) have gotten up into the low 40;s...still much too low, in my experience, but marginal. Nope....37*. I frowned when I read the temp. Oh well....I'm here I figured....might as well go deep, low, and slow...to see if I might dredge one up. No dice. Nice to get out after a long winter. Casting was good.....no leaks in the now 6 year old Simms...no other flyfishers in my spots. That right there tells me how the fishing in that area is. When it's good, there are guys/Gals there.
In my (admittedly non-scientific) experience over almost 60 years of flyfishing, I do almost no catching when the water temps in the Spring are under 47 degrees.....with 50 being a helluva lot better.
Surprisingly (or maybe not)........in the Fall as long as the hatches are holding out I do fairly well all the way down to 42*. My catching seems to shut off like a faucet at the 42* mark. Perhaps the difference between Spring temps and Fall temps is that there are virtually no bugs out (excepting Midges and (maybe) a few early Brown Stones fluttering about) and in the Fall there are (again---usually) the Tiny BWO's coming off.
I know plenty of LL's are caught on April 1st up in the Dam Pool at GLS.....and I'm sure the water temps are WAY under 47/48* then....so that may blow my water temp theory all to hell.........but I prefer to thing of that scenario as an abberation. In my experience the water temps (Spring) have to hit that magical 47/48* mark. At least in the spot I was at yesterday it will be I'm guessing at least three weeks before that happens. Well........I guess I'll be tying flies for the next three weeks or a month.
"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009