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> > opening day Trout april 1st ADVICE???

JohnnymunozMarch 21st, 2010, 6:43 pm

Posts: 4
third season this year, last two with variable success, any advice is appreciated... I usually stick to spinners, artic fox 1/4oz gold and silver, wobble rights, and such, as well as wax/meal worms and trout worms, and minnow. Usually start up at pepacton, and then turn to rivers to fish... rivers out towards callicoon, and then over onto the neversink, willowemoc, and often enough mongaup creek. began fly fishing, last two years, havent caught a trout yet, which would be best recomended, fly or spincast, and with what baits or lures.... thanks alot.
fishermen, we are called to be fishermen.
WbranchMarch 21st, 2010, 6:54 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Hi Johnny,

This is primarily a fly fishing forum and we'd all rather see you fly fishing than throwing Mepps, Panther Martins, and Rapala's. Get rid of that spin rod and get into fly fishing.

P.S. Just say NO to bait!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JohnnymunozMarch 21st, 2010, 8:12 pm

Posts: 4
I would love to be able to switch to fly fishing as my primary, and have been trying to switch, but havent had that much experience with it. As well I dont have many friends that do it, so my learning from experience is pretty much limited to my own. which is why I am on here. I understand you dont like the lures, neither do I. But they work for me. I have four fly rods, and have taken up fly tying but have never used sink line, can't even imagine how to actually carry it out, and with the bit of experience that I do have, consists of hours upon hours of standing in a river without anything happening, except me casting around repeatedly to no avail...

I'm sincerely hunting advice, not criticism.

I've had some success actually, fly fishing bass, and pickerel. which is definitely a completely different animal, and experience.

trout Ive tried, brown hackel peacock, gray ugly's, white miller's, royal coachman, light cahill, blue winged olive, hendrickson, olive midge, mickey finn, and various maribou streamers. I just dont know what to use where, or when, and am not sure what to look for in determining what to use, obviousily watch for hatch later in the season, but I am always skunked in early spring.

Any Constructive criticism is appreciated.
fishermen, we are called to be fishermen.
WbranchMarch 22nd, 2010, 4:06 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Hello Johnny,

"and with the bit of experience that I do have, consists of hours upon hours of standing in a river without anything happening, except me casting around repeatedly to no avail..."

Sorry to hear you are having so many problems. I wasn't criticizing you just merely stating a fact about this web site. I see you fish the Catskills rivers. I have a place on the Delaware River and fish during the week. If you can get away during the week after April 17 I'd be glad to meet up with you and show you the ropes relative to fly fishing, casting, fly selection, reading the water, what kind of bugs are in those rivers, etc. PM me if your interested.

Early spring can be difficult especially if the water temperature is less than fifty degrees. The trout are lethargic in cold water and don't want to move much to take your fly. The key to early spring success is to fish waters with plenty of trout, like the Beaverkill or Willowemoc No-Kill sections and get your fly right down along the bottom, with a couple of BB's, as that is most likely where you are going to find the fish. Also it goes without saying that you need to be presenting the fly properly, getting drag free drifts and have decent line management skills.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PatcrisciMarch 22nd, 2010, 12:47 pm
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
Johnny, if you are going to fish the fly rod on April 1 in Catskill rivers my advice is to fish slow and deep and to dress warm. You should be bouncing the stream bottom with wet flies or streamers. You'll need weighted flies and/or a couple split shot to get your fly down to the fish. It's not the most fun or most productive time to fish for trout. But stay with it -- nicer weather and better fishing (say 'fly hatches') are coming. You should also check out the Catksill Flies web site for daily updates on Catskill waters. Here's the URL:
Pat Crisci
MotroutMarch 22nd, 2010, 3:06 pm
Posts: 319
I'm primarily a fly fisherman, but there's nothing wrong with spin fishing at all. Heck, it's a lot of fun. I don't care how you fish as long as your fishing legally and ethichally-just having a good time is the main thing.

I don't have any info on the river you're talking about, I apologize.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
KerryWhiteApril 1st, 2010, 9:10 pm
York Pa.

Posts: 9
For opening day...Find a lake with no trout in it but lots of crappies.
Get some small streamers or mini buggers and a very light weight fly rod and about 2-3 wt. line for it.Take a kayak and paddle around fly fishing the brush piles for pan fish!! You'll have no company and a blast. After a few days when the one-day wonders get off the stream then hit the trout streams and have a great time.That's my advice. I have a little 6 rod that will be doing just that this Saturday.
Be safe and watch your back cast...Whitie
HellgieApril 6th, 2010, 9:43 pm
Posts: 5April 1st advice? Is this an April fools joke?
If you are going to fly fish opening day I would go to a "fly fishing only" area or a "trout conservation" area. These areas will have other fly or lure fisherman that will give you space and not crowd you. I recommend beadhead Prince, Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail nymphs and Caddis larva patterns fished deep and slow. If the water is fast or high go with a Wooly Bugger, Muddler Minnow, Black Nosed Dace or other streamer pattern and fish it close to the bank and around cover.
If you're using lures also try Pheobies, Yozuri Pinns Minnow or small Rooster Tail spinners.
As far as bait goes (if you really must), anything should work on the brookies that they usually stock first. Trout worms, meal worms, salted minnows and salmon eggs all work great. A lot of people like to use Powerbait or corn but I hear it's not healthy for the fish so I don't recommend it. Just use 4 lb. test, a size 10, 8 or 6 hook (depending on the size of the bait) and a couple of BB splitshot a foot up. Then cast upstream and bounce the bottom in a slow drift with no slack. But really you should try to leave that kind of fishing for the kids.
To get a better understanding of fly fishing and hatches go to and click on "fishing reports".
Good Luck
MotroutApril 8th, 2010, 3:00 pm
Posts: 319
I don't like that whole "you should leave that to the kids" mentality about spin fishing. I think it amounts to a false superiority complex. I choose to fish exclusively with a fly rod because that's how I enjoy myself the most, not because it puts me above other fisherman in any way. No legitimate and ethical form of fishing is superior to another; they're just different.

It's all about being on the stream and having a great time, whether you happen to use a spinning rod or a fly rod.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
KeystonerApril 9th, 2010, 12:15 pm
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
I agree. In fact my #1 fishing buddy is a baitfisherman. However, I can see how negative conotations can arise.

For starters, Fly fishing (at least as far as I'm concerned) is WAY HARDER than spin/bait fishing. I have been trying to learn for weeks now, and am still getting to the point where I'm about ready to quit, weekly. Haven't yet. For this reason, I think the fly rod attracts (for the most part) a different type of crowd. There are not too many of the the aforementioned "one day wonders" swinging fly rods.

Also, just by observation, flyfisherman seem to have a deeper respect for the water, and the fish. I have never seen a flyfisherman throw a fish back into the water as if it were yesterday's garbage however, it seems to be the only way (most) baitfishermen know how. I have also not seen any cigarette butts flying off the fingertips of flyfisherman into the river as if they belong there, but I have seen... ...yep, you guessed it.

So no, I won't dismiss or disparage anyone outright, but I can see where these feelings come from. Really though, there is no one better to ask for directions to the fly stretch, than baitfisherman. They're always so happy to direct you away from thier spot!

As far as advice, I always just used powerbait and corn, although I didn't realize it was bad for the fish. Best to all.
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
WbranchApril 9th, 2010, 2:49 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Keystoner wrote:

"I have been trying to learn for weeks now, and am still getting to the point where I'm about ready to quit, weekly. Haven't yet."

Hey, don't go quitting FF as it is too much fun once you get past the learning hurdles. There are lots of guys here that will be willing to give you answers to any questions you might have. Actually some guys make it sound harder than it really is! I never had a single fly fishing, or casting, lesson in my life and I've been able to learn how catch more than my share of nice trout.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Aaron7_8April 9th, 2010, 3:09 pm
Helena Montana

Posts: 115

Don't let it get to you, I am fairly new at it and in my experience the key to catching fish with a fly rod is presentation presentation presentation. Trout on the streams I fish don't seem to key in on one thing and disregard all other food items they are oppoertunistic. Go to your local fly shop and ask a bunch of questions. As long as you are close in size and color you will be bound to fool a few fish, and as youm get more confident in fly selection and presentation a few fish turns into more fish.
MotroutApril 9th, 2010, 5:31 pm
Posts: 319
I agree that fly fishing generally attracts a different crowd, and its definitely my favorite way to fish. But I know enough conservation minded spin fishing folks who really are passionate about fishing and the fishery to be willing to say, as a whole, one way is any better than the other.

By the way.... Please don't quit learning to fly fish! It's hard to learn the basics, but trust me, you'll get to the point where you know all the trouble has been worthwhile. It's been only a couple years since I've learned, so those days are pretty fresh in my mind. I nearly quit about a hundred times, but now I'm incredibly glad I didn't. I still don't catch as many fish as I used to on spinners, but somehow I know it's worth it anyway.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
HellgieApril 12th, 2010, 5:14 pm
Posts: 5I am sorry if I offended anyone by saying "you should leave that kind of fishing for the kids". I should have been politically correct by saying "leave that type of fishing for the novices, beginners, one day wonders, meat hunters or those who just want to do that type of fishing". Don't get me wrong but I still spin fish for trout once in a while. Especially during stocking season when it's hard to use a fly rod when the streams are shoulder to shoulder with fisherman. But since it's no longer a challenge or thrill for me to bait/spin fish, I've moved on. Once you've learned fly fishing and are catching fish on flies that you've tied you will understand.
LjnbassApril 12th, 2010, 7:36 pm
Altoona, pa

Posts: 5
I have to agree with Hellgie. There is no greater thrill than catching a fish on a fly that you tied. Stalking the fish an dworking him. One thing that I've learned with fly fishing is that you never stop learning, unless you quit. There is a wealth of information out there. Don't overlook your local flyshops because they can lead you in the right direction as far as your local hatches and what is currently coming off at the time. And there is also websites such as this one which has really opened my eyes for my flytying. Having photos of the different insects is a "BIG" plus.

Also, I have noticed that in most instances that if I'm fishing and not having a good day at it someone may come along and offer advice or suggest a pattern, sometimes even offering one to try.

Again, don't give up! Don't look at your slow days as bad days, use them as learning experiences and enjoy your time out. Good Luck and have fun.
Jmd123April 12th, 2010, 9:31 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Like the majority of folks on this site, I started fishing while fairly young, and primarily with bait. During my youth, I thought this was by far the most effective way to fish - for me, it certainly was. Over the years I began to use lures on a spinning rod, and over time I caught more and more fish on lures (spinners, spoons, and plugs) and enjoyed this more because I didn't have to mess with bait, constantly rebaiting the hook and getting my hands dirty (as if the fish slime wasn't enough), having fish swallow the hook and then die, having to find a bait store for fresh bait (though I caught plenty of my own), storing worms in the fridge, aerating bait buckets, etc. And in time, I caught larger fish on lures and less annoying little ones ("bait stealers"). I had my favorite lures: Mepps spinners, Daredevle spoons, Little Cleos, and Rapalas, and I had great confidence in them all. AND caught loads of fish!

I first cast a fly in 1985, for trout during the Hexagenia hatch on the Maple River in northern lower Michigan. (Truth be known, the VERY FIRST fish I caught on a fly was a ROCK BASS, which hit a Muddler Minnow I was casting for practice off a pier into Douglas Lake. I STILL like catching them on flies to this day...) I didn't catch all that many fish for the first three years, except for a very few trout and some eager little bluegills, but I could see how I would catch plenty if I kept at it and learned the ropes from some more accomplished folks, like my orignal mentor (and Plant Ecology professor) Terry Sharik. I spent many a night on the Maple watching Terry nail big beautiful browns and the occasional outsize rainbow, and he truly inspired me as a novice to keep trying. He also told me that it would take at least three years to get good enough at it to start catching fish, and he was right. But just seeing the process and knowing the fish were out there and could be caught by this oh-so-different method of fishing kept me going until I did succeed, and then BAM, I started catching my share and the size of the fish began to increase dramatically. Compared to now, 25 years after that first rock bass and then little 9" brown trout (my fist brookie came the following summer), I wasn't really catching many fish, but the thrill was there and the challenge of constant improvement of casting technique, fly selection, etc. was most enjoyable. And, I had a glimpse of things to come...

In 1990, I took it to the next level. I took a fly tying class, bought myself a set of tools and a bunch of materials, and therever after NEVER bought a fly again! In fact, I have never even used a fly since that I did not tie myself. That year I even caught PIKE on flies I tied, and really expanded my warmwater fly fishing (I had landed a bass the previous year, on a Whitlock's Crayfish that I picked up at an Orvis shop, that was at least FIVE POUNDS!!). My fishing skills steadily improved, I got new fly rods (including a 9.5' 9-10 wt. for the pike and a 7' 3-wt. for small streams and ponds), and I caught yet more fish in yet more places as I moved around the country in search of a steady job (STILL looking for that...). I did continue to use spinning tackle on many occasions (including for trout) as in some cases I did find it still more effective than fly fishing in certain situations, but the fly rod was in my hand more and more every season. The only bait fishing I was still doing on any regular basis was ice fishing (I've only ever had any success through the ice on live bait). But then, there was steelhead fishing you could do with a fly rod at the same time of year...STILL trying to catch one of those!

Nowadays, there are bodies of water, like the Huron River and Dix Pond in Ann Arbor, that I have ONLY fished with a fly rod. There are other bodies of water that I used to throw bait and hardware on, like a local lake here in Troy, that I have only fished with flies for the past 5 years. And to be honest, I haven't fished with a spinning rod ANYWHERE since 2007, only fly rods. After 25 years, I feel that I can do as good or usually even better with flies than by any other means, and I take great pride in the fact that all of the flies that I fish are MY OWN. In fact, these days I can usually OUTFISH people with bait or hardware with my rod and flies!

Mind you all, this took a lot of hard work, dedication, patience, and practice!!! NO ONE is born a fly fisherman!!! But once you get the hang of it, it is highly addictive, more so than any drug I have ever tried (and true confession, I have sampled widely - NOTHING chemical even comes CLOSE to hooking a big fish!! You want a major RUSH??? Get your heart pounding?? Hang something in the 5-pound plus range on the end of your fly line!!). It is thrilling, exciting, challenging, frustrating, exhausting, and supremely satisfying. It really takes fishing to a higher level of involvement, and I feel it is simply a logical step for the passionate fisherman to take in their lifetime journey of pursuing fish - of whatever species! (Hey, there's guys that take tarpon, tuna, billfish, even SHARKS on fly rods!!)

To each their own - I would never begrudge a fellow fisherman (or fisherwoman) their favorite methods. But I am a dedicated flyrodder for life, I love it more than almost anything else (especially since I'm a bachelor), and will always strive to improve upon what I can do now and into the foreseeable future.


Tight lines and dancing fish on the end of them to you all,


P.S. My biggest largemouth of my life was caught on my own Killer Bass Fly in Texas in 2005.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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