Sunday, March 31, 2013

A little preseason fishing

H: March 31, 2013: A few friends and I headed up to the Catskills yesterday for a bit of preseason fishing. With Opening Day just around the corner, it was time to get back into game shape after a really long winter! Time to dust off the gear, test out new rods and lines, flex long dormant casting muscles, regain tempo, and put new fishing game plans into play. For me, the primary objective was to seriously chill out! For the past 2 months, I feel like I've been stuck in a time warp. Well, the Beaverkill and Delaware rivers, along with a few friends worked their magic, restoring much needed balance and perspective.

Fishing friends, old and new: Shannon, Anne-Marie, and Doug.

First stop, the Beaverkill. Shannon took her new 6-weight Sage spey rod for a spin while Doug settled into a spot just upriver from her and cast his new 4-weight Rise rod. Anne-Marie, the explorer, vanished downstream with rod in hand. A strong persistant wind made casting difficult at times but it was a bright beautiful spring day (finally!) and a decent hatch of stoneflies welcomed the sun's warmth.

Richard with a lovely preseason brown.
Unfortunately, the trout were less responsive. Two days till Opening Day and they stubbornly remained hunkered down despite the tantalizing skittering of female stoneflies laying eggs on the water's surface. I was pleasantly surprised when my friend Richard stopped by. He fished with us for a bit and landed a gorgeous brown. As we hung out on the bank, warming our feet and catching up, we were soon covered in small black stones.

After a late lunch we drove to Hancock. I wanted to check out some water on the Main Stem of the Delaware. In hindsight, we should have gone to a more sheltered spot. It was still very windy. We spread out in all directions to fish. Shannon earned her spot on the starting lineup, landing a preseason brown. I decided to take out my spey rod and cast a streamer—it wasn't pretty. I'd be lucky to make the cut.

There were some sporadic splashy rises in the middle of the pool. I gladly switched to my singlehand 5-weight and tied on a black caddis dry—no takers—no real surprise. I know I should have nymphed, but the thought of staring at an indicator for the remainder of this glorious day killed me. So, I hiked along the riverbank gathering intel for future use (tough work but someone's got to do it ;).

Main stem of the Delaware river
Main stem of the Delaware.

Hopefully our preseason warm-up will pay dividends in the weeks to come. Shannon and Doug are headed back next weekend. It looks like it will be another couple of weeks before my season officially begins (Thank god! Still time for a spring training tuneup). Here's to a great season everyone!

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