In the month it’s been since my last entry, we’ve seen change. We’ve seen changes in the seasons, weather, and fishing, but the most apparent change we’ve seen is in our societal daily lives. By now, everyone is aware of the effects Covid-19 is having in the world around us. If you’re not aware, I salute you as this means you’ve been in the woods, away and out of touch with civilization for well over a month, and upon you’re return to human society my site and blog are the first things you’ve stumbled across as you navigate the interwebs.
Let’s get up to speed. Since my last post, ice fishing season ended and was short lived, but not before some excellent days were had chasing perch and walleye. I’ve packed the ice gear away save for a few jigging rods I’ll use kayak fishing. What is this madness? Jigging from a kayak with an ice fishing rod is something I’m experimenting with more. For starters, ice fishing rods are short, take up less space, and are easier to manage in the kayak. Secondly, they are safer as it’s far easier to land/net a fish at the kayak side with a 28” rod vs. a 6’ or 7’ rod. Your daughter’s pink Barbie pole or your old Spiderman pole you had as a kid can also work. There is no leaning and reaching way over the side to net a fish. I’ve only used ice fishing rods for jigging purposes. I cannot speak to their effectiveness, or most likely ineffectiveness in this case, to flinging plugs or poppers, but I’m sure it can very awkwardly be done.
Also, since my last post, toilet paper has become harder to find than Aztec gold because, for some reason unbeknownst to me, it’s been hoarded during the outbreak of a respiratory virus. During this pandemic, our NYS governor has mandated all non-essential business be closed, and it has officially been deemed a fly fishing guide is not essential. As such, I am not taking trips until the mandate is lifted. Anyone interested in a trip, however, is encouraged to reach out about dates and availability later in the spring, summer, and fall as things will get busy once the virus passes.
Fly fishing and trout fishing is a year-round deal for me. Many local streams are open to catch and release fishing all year (check the regulations to be sure if you plan to fish outside of the NYS statewide trout season April 1st - October 15th). Winter and late winter fly fishing for wild and holdover trout was very good this year. Many streams have been stocked now as well. Streams are a touch high, though well below normal for this time of year, but it’s looking good for the latter part of the week and the weekend for some quality outdoor social distancing. We should always give other anglers their space anyhow. With warmer temperatures, and higher flows, I’ll be slinging streamers again in search of big meat-eating browns looking for a high calorie meal after a long winter.
I’ve been doing A LOT of fly tying. There is no better time to stock up on flies, learn to tie, or get better at fly tying than now. I’ve been filling boxes, trying to get as much as I can done now so I can spend more time fishing and losing flies to tree fish later. Fill boxes with your “go-to” or “confidence” patterns. Try tying something new. If you’re a saltwater angler, sharpen those hooks on old patterns and tie up some new patterns in different sizes and different colors. Stripers can be just as picky and finicky as educated as a dun sipping wild brown trout.
Tying flies is great way to support your local fly shop during tough times. You need materials, hooks, eyes, and beads to tie and your shop has you covered. While you may not be able to visit, share stories or beers, and slightly exaggerate the size fish you landed with no picture evidence to prove it actually happened, you can put an order through for materials (or anything else). Any little bit helps them through the tough time, just as much as it helps you pass the time at home and avoid making a run to the beer store for a two-week supply for the second or third time this week. While your Wife may mock you for “looking like an evil genius” tying flies as mine does, or question what exactly you’re trying to accomplish tying a school of 137 matching baitfish, or why you’re tying a 10 inch fly that may or may not be able to actually be thrown (this is why we have 10-12 weights), she will probably be grateful you’re staying busy and not bugging her.
Back to tying… and waiting for baseball season…
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to email or shoot me a message with any comments or questions related to fly fishing. Please look for another post soon. While I have been busy with other projects, which I hope to announce soon, writing and posting will get better and more frequent.
If anyone is looking for a movie suggestion, 1917 was a pretty solid movie.
Stay social distanced and healthy my friends,