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  • Matt Reilly


And just like that, it's the greatest time of the year! Though we're still seeing some cold overnights, afternoons are growing increasingly comfortable, waders are being ditched for water shoes, and our favorite fish--smallmouth bass--are on the chew. Spring fishing is ramping up, and we couldn't be more excited.

The winter season was an exciting one. Low water and warm weather made for interesting conditions--not much generation on our tailwaters and gin clear musky fisheries. As a result, we didn't do much big brown trout hunting, and instead focused our efforts on the musky fisheries in our backyard. Clear, warm water made for some VERY active days throughout the fall and early winter, though getting fish to commit to flies was tough at times.

Still, several awesome musky hit the net, this last season, including several first fish. Towards the end of the winter, we did see a window of increased precipitation, which allowed us to get on the tailwaters and make some memories there chasing large brown trout with streamers. If these kinds of trophy hunting, streamer education trips interest you, reach out sooner rather than later so that we can discuss the perfect time to schedule such a trip.

The musky season got cut a tad short by a sharp warmup in early March that launched our water temperatures from the mid-40s into the mid- to upper 50s in just a few short weeks. A big smallmouth bite ensued. We have, at this juncture, officially switched gears to focusing on smallmouth for the next eight months. As they stand, our water temperatures are hovering in the mid- to upper-50s, and it's likely that we'll see spawning activity kick off in the next few weeks. The threat of rain has created a few generation events on the New River, creating some high water conditions, but for the most part, across the region, our water levels are low for the season.

During the pre-spawn period, on average, anglers should expect relatively low numbers of fish (when compared to the summer) with the opportunity for lots of quality fish. That pattern dissipates a little bit as the rivers get low and clear, but, still, this is a time of year when the instinct a smallmouth has to feed to prepare for the spawn outweighs the metabolic demands of the season. They have to eat, and we position ourselves to take advantage of that. Streamer anglers and conventional fishermen--this is your time to shine.

The mountain stream fishing continues to be fantastic. The month of March usually is one of the best of the year on these streams, as the warming water, increasing bug activity, and full rivers keep the fish very active. Quill gordon mayflies, caddis, and stoneflies all emerge during this month, and have already created some memorable fishing for us, this season.

Spring is a rollercoaster. Day-to-day weather keeps the fishing in flux. But the fact is that some of the best trophy potential with our smallmouth fishery exists between now and the end of May. If you're interested in booking a day, let's get in touch! We have very few days left to book before summer arrives.

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