Well it was certainly great to be able to get out and fly fish in MARCH! Unbelievable! This spring has been insane and has everyone talking! Here on the prairies we had one of the mildest winters on record followed by a balmy spring that melted snow by the first week of March! Typically we have snow right through til mid-April and thereís always a risk of a big snow storm right up til mid-May. In March, we had temperatures in the teens and even into the twenties! Thatís Celsius too by the way!
In comparison, last spring was late and we werenít able to fish most of our lakes until the first week of May! We also had record snow falls last winter and some of the worst flooding on record for the Assiniboine drainage! The rivers were swollen right through until freeze up. For the fly fishermen who frequent the rivers it was a total wash.
This year our rivers have already peaked and are currently at late summer levels! Thereís a risk of drought this summer. However, Iím excited for the fact that the lakes are opening up very fast and by the weekend a few of the stocked trout lakes will be accessible, marking this the earliest the lakes have opened up!
In March, a bunch of us local fly fishers were able to get the dust off our gear and hit up the various rivers. A few ventured up to the Fairford River, while the rest of us had a blast on the Red River at Lockport. Here it was very safe to wade and although the fish werenít overly aggressive to take a fly, we certainly couldnít complain casting a line in long sleeve shirts!
The fish that we did bring to hand were walleye, goldeye, sauger, pike, carp, sucker, and catfish. It was great to test out my new St.Croix Bank Robber rod and get the kinks out of the ole casting arm!
Most of the fish we caught were on small streamers and backswimmers. On the last day of March, which also marked the last day of the general season, I was using a Bow River Bugger tied with lead eyes and tied so the hook point would stay up. I was skipping this fly along the bottom and ended up hauling in sauger and walleye! Must have caught 20+ sauger and a couple nice, healthy walleye, including a beauty 22″! Was kind of too bad the season closed until mid-May, however, with the trout lakes opening up this week it can wait til May!
Hereís a few pics from Marchís festivities!
24" greenback walleye
22" greenback walleye
Caught close to a hundred of these little buggers in 4 outings! They were hungry! Too bad they weren't a little bigger. They were all 10-16".
Teamwork on landing a catfish!
My buddy Stephen with a beauty cat.
And heck, even a few pike and goldeye.
Now that the trout lakes are opening up I'll be focusing on that until the general season opens back up!