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They were biting this morning ...

Outdoor Tales

Black Stonefly

Black Stonefly

It’s Monday morning as I write this and all I can think about is that old Labatt Blue commercial of the fish on the phone with the guy at his office.

“Real good Steve — real good,” the fish says. “We were biting this morning, we were biting this morning.”

They probably are, too. Fishing is a bit like buying scratch-off tickets: The more committed you are, the better the odds. So I figure the odds gotta start turning my way.

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Black Stonefly

The weekend went like this: several ponds, nine miles of portage, cold mornings, lots of wind and they weren’t exactly jumping in the boat.

I did manage to save my handicap with an early afternoon feed on Sunday — seems the trout sometimes decide to get hungry on these chilly spring days just as the sun gets high.

But I had nothing worth bragging about. The pond I was on routinely produces 14, 15-inch fish. These were more like 10 — no doubt last year’s stockeys.

It’s been an odd start this year. It feels like the ponds are a week to 10 days ahead because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had.

I marked surface temps last week at around 54-56 degrees and saw my first caddis fly yesterday. Normally mayflies like subvaria (Hendrickson) or pleuris (Quill Gordon) beat the caddis fly to the surface. The old adage was always 50-55 degree water for the Quill Gordon, followed closely by the Hendrickson, then caddis.

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Quill Gordon

This time of year I’m more apt to try something like a caddis pupa wet fly or black stonefly behind a lure, since they are either still in the larvae stage or are just beginning to emerge to the pupa stage — a time trout relish, as well as when they are floundering on the surface as adults.

I found lots of dark black larvae in the bellies of the fish I did catch — confirming my suspicion that they are bottom feeding on these soon-to-be hatches — and my fishing chum found a salamander or two.

I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He may be reached at johng@denpubs.com

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