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,
Herb

Comments for The Glorious Last Saturday In April

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Apr 29, 2018
Michigan holiday
by: Eric Westbrook

Yea Herb, the last saturday in April is right up there with November 15th in Mi. Bummer 'cause its always saturday, we used to get Nov 15 off school when I was kid.

It was a tough fishing day up here in Wexford county, not a cloud in the sky and WINDY! I think I saw white caps on the beaver ponds! But at least it wasn't snowing! We finally lost our snow this last week.

I didn't make it out before the sun had everything lit up in the morning, it was frosty, so it was an unproductive day until a couple hours before dark when the sun went behind the trees. Then I finally got the first 2 fish of the season, an 8" Brooky and a 10" Brown.

The last Saturday in April....is always a good day!

Apr 29, 2018
Great Write-up
by: Les Albjerg

Herb - It is always fun to read about an opener! One nice thing about Idaho is there is always a place to fish. That said, most of our best waters are closed from either February or March through Memorial Day. My favorite "opener" is July 1st. It isn't because the stream isn't open, but the road is closed until then so unless you want to walk 20 miles, it is closed. It was nice to hear that your group can enjoy the success of others.
Nice to see the golden ribbed hare's ear nymph works in Michigan too! One of my favorite flies.

Apr 29, 2018
Rubber Hatch
by: Les Albjerg

Herb - What a bummer to have the fishing ruined by rafters. If the Rogue is a blue ribbon stream, I would get your Trout Unlimited chapters involved in getting some regulations in place. On the Umpqua river in Oregon rafters could only launch for a two hour period. That way you knew when they were on the river. In Oregon rafters can be fined for interfering with fisherman. It isn't fair to just bust through fisherman with their rafts.

Apr 30, 2018
Back Atcha Guys
by: Herb S.

Eric, while there are plenty of Class 4 streams open to catch and release all year and a few open to catch and keep "off season" Opening Days of fishing and hunting are major events not to be missed no matter how rotten the weather! You live in real trout country and will be fishing this summer while our "marginal" streams are too warm and us banana belters will be heading north.
Les, the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear is our #1 Nymph. It "matches" so many bugs and is our go-to. When I taught my friends how to tie flies it was the first on the list and now it’s almost the only nymph they use. I’ve considered carrying mostly hare’s ear flies including the Gold Rib, March Brown Spider wet and Wyatt’s Deer Hair Sedge dry fly. Actually, for the past 20-30 years I’ve been using fox squirrel back hair in place of hare’s ear. Fox squirrel fur is extremely buggy with many shades from black to brown to grey. Being an old squirrel hunter the price is right, but I see you can buy it packaged at the better fly shops. I add a pinch of gray beaver fur as a binder and mix it in a coffee bean grinder. The bead head version (just body and bead) works so well I’m tempted to just fish that and skip the full dress lead wire weighted nymph.
Yes, Les, the traffic on many of our trout rivers is truly awful. Our premier "blue ribbon" river, the Au Sable got so bad that the last I heard the decided to limit boat traffic to "only" 1000 canoes, kayaks and Au Sable River Boats per day. I don’t know if that’s just commercial water craft or if it includes private fisherman hitters…. Yes, I’ve been hit in the back twice by canoes and several times kayakers have slapped the water with their paddles right where I was fishing, an illegal act but the cretins who did it thought it was funny and know you can’t easily get them busted. The only way to fish the main stream Au Sable is near Grayling after all the boats have stopped launching and very early in the morning way down stream before the boats get there.

May 04, 2018
RUDE PEOPLE!
by: MIKE W. TACOMA WA.

It's very sad how fisherman are treated nowadays in most areas. It's getting so that we are treated the same way as some hunters get treated! (also sad). Well? At least the season has begun, so it's all good! I try not to let it bother me if it happens. On a happier note, I received a new tenkara rod as a gift! It's a Teton from Tenkara Rod Co. It's a little stiff but seems like an ok rod? I never see anything about the company or their products on Tenbum? Does anyone know anything or have experience with these rods? I guess the compay is only a few years old? Anyways just thought I'd ask! Tight lines and no reels! Mike W. Tacoma Wa.

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