The Glorious Last Saturday In April

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

Opening Day of Trout Season today! Marlin, Chuck and I hit the Rogue River as is our several decades custom. This time we also took Xiaogang for his first fly fishing for trout. He’s been my fly fishing student since last June. About the time the weather and water cooled off enough for trout fishing last fall I couldn’t get away from my wife who was laid up with a broken foot, so I was glad to take him and it won’t be the last.

The day started cold and windy. The water was 48 degrees and very clear. Nothing was going on with the bugs or fish. Having planned for this I began with my Daiwa Kiyose 43M with 8# clear Fluorocarbon, a Thill M2 Mini Stealth float, a BB shot and a #12 Tungsten Bead Black Stonefly Nymph. Black stones are a good bet for early season on this river. I was rewarded with two 9” browns and lost a much larger one when it jumped and threw the hook. But that was it for me. Xiaogang caught his first trout on a Black Stone Nymph and that was all he could dredge up. Marlin caught 2 eight and a half inchers, one on a Stone and the other on a Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph. Chuck, who is very often top rod got skunked. Not the best fishing for Opening Day, but certainly not the worst. Come to think of it, there is no worst. It’s a gang of good friends who never compete (except for the smallest fish – I’m top or bottom with a 1.5 incher) and we always have a good time in sun, sleet rain and snow.

The sun stayed out, it warmed up, the day wore on and I switched to a fly rod to instruct Xiaogang when the big hatch came off -- but it didn’t. The only hatch was watercraft, first singles, then pairs and our fishing ended when the flotillas descended on us. We’ve been run off the river before but not on Opening Day until now. A sign of the times, I guess. Still, it was fun and I got to prove my hypothesis that a keiryu rod with the right fly on the bottom was the proper medicine. It’s all--
Happy fishing,

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