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Old 03-22-2016, 05:57 PM
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Default Early season trout tips?

I've fly fished only for a few years now (small to medium spring creeks mainly in western NY state) and struggle in the early part of the season (March and April) when the water is still cold and frequently high. For the most part I try nymphing, drifting muddlers and woolly buggers, and occasionally dragging San Juan worms along the bottom - all with extremely limited success. FYI, I tend to use multi-nymph rigs (e.g., #12 point fly with #16 or smaller trailer), #12 muddlers and smaller San Juan worms (with 4X or 5x tippet depending on conditions). I suspect part of my problem is using split shot and/or indicator incorrectly and not reading the water accurately. So, guys, any tips for early season trout?
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

Big meat.

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Old 03-22-2016, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

Use larger nymphs when the water is high/muddy I like to use heavy weighted Pats Rubber Legs with a worm or Glo bug under. Fish the edges of the river where you usually stand in normal water. Try high sticking with those heavy flies making sure your flies are ticking the bottom. Be prepared to loose flies but don't get discouraged and make sure your leader tippet and flies are in good order every few casts sometimes even running your fingers along your tippet checking for knots. When you do find knots or damage replace tippets so everything is perfect.

When I use indicators I water load the rod and make nice easy casts with no or little false casting. Good luck!
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

Although this article isn't your area, but there are some flies here that work almost everywhere:

Top 10 Early-Spring Patterns for Montana Trout - Orvis News
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

I am easy, Streamers or leeches in the morning, nymphing or dry mid day and back to streamers in late afternoon.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewingaussie View Post

I've fly fished only for a few years now (small to medium spring creeks mainly in western NY state) and struggle in the early part of the season (March and April) when the water is still cold and frequently high.
Wild trout, planted adults, or both?

True "spring" creeks, or simply freestone streams?

I'm from eastern PA and understand your frustration (although now a somewhat distant memory since moving to Utah).
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

With high water, try fishing closer to shore too. The back eddies and flooded banks may provide some some slower water and shelter. Otherwise, if the water is just cold and not too high, the deeper pools that have sunken logs (prepare to lose tackle) will usually hold the fish.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

Kind of hard to pinpoint the problem, but it sounds like your flies may not be getting deep in higher flows. A couple suggestions ...

Make sure your indicator is set deep enough. Usual guidance is 1.5x water depth, so about 5' for fishing typical 3' deep small stream pools / runs.

Make sure your tippet - from indicator to flies - is fairly uniform and light. I'll use 5' or so of 4x or 5x to my flies.

Make sure you're using enough weight. I'll typically use a #12 lead fly with bead or weighted wire wraps and a #1 or B size tin shot.

Lastly, try mending to get your flies down. Cast up or up and across, then mend upstream - even mending the indicator upstream. The mend will create a little slack between the indicator and flies and let them sink faster.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

In the early spring i look for a Blue Winged Olive hatch around 1 o'clock. They seem to occur in back eddies on overcast drizzly days. Fish dun or emerger patterns to rising fish or search with a pheasant tail nymph prior to the emergence.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Early season trout tips?

So that's where Dillon gets his handle from.
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