Early trout season in Central New York

by Cody
(Syracuse, NY)

It has been a strange start to the trout season here in Central NY. The couple of weeks leading up to April 1st, we had warm weather, minimal rainfall and some fantastic stocking by the county-owned hatchery (9000+ browns and brookies in one creek alone!). Come opening day, we started getting hammered with rain and a couple snow storms, causing one local creek (Ninemile Creek) to swing from about 175cfs to nearly 350cfs with the water temperature barely breaking 40F on a good day.

Western fly fishing has been a challenge, to say the least. I was nearly tempted to swing to local big box store and buy an "Ugly Stick" to fish spoons and salted minnows. But the "Stubborn Polack gene" runs deep in my blood, and I just couldn't wait until May to toss some flies.

Not to fear though, the trusty Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 270 has been just the tool for plucking some lazy browns out of tight pockets. Dead drifting a very simple beadhead scud (known affectionately here as the "Ninemile scud") has been incredibly productive for me each trip out to the creek. Because of the size and weight of the fly, I found that 7' of 3.5 level line was a bit short, causing the casts to be messy and "pop" at the end. 9' of level line with 3-4' of 5x tippet seems to be the sweet spot. Short enough to keep my line out of the trees and brush, but long enough to sink the fly into the deep pools and pockets where the trout seem to be anxiously waiting for the late-May sulfur hatch.

I've never had this much fun trout fishing before. Grinning from ear to ear, you'd think I just hooked a 20" trophy trout instead of a feisty 8" brown trout.

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