Fly fishing prairie guys

Conservation Conversations

The author with an Ausable River brown trout.

The author with an Ausable River brown trout.

They say the early bird gets the worm. It should read: “The early riser gets the bird,” and hopefully that bird’s a turkey, but for me, I think the “bird” is all I’m getting, so to speak! Gobblers have not been in my play book so far this year. So far!

Not one to get into a state of despair, I have altered hunting strategies and tactics. I temporarily hung up the old Remington Model 11, 12-gauge shotgun I borrowed, and armed myself with an Orvis Access 6 weight fly rod. Yes, Orvis is expensive, but I have connections in all the right places, at least the right places that I think count as the right places. Thank you G.J.!

Orvis is a local company headquartered in Manchester Vt, so if I have a problem, I can go right to the source, and don’t have to deal with catalogs and sending stuff back. I have no patience for all that. Remington is also a local company for now. The governor’s so-called Safe Act may drive them out of New York. That would be a loss of more than 1,000 well-paying jobs, not so safe for the workers, and a stab in the back to the local Mohawk Valley communities. Texas is very interested in having them relocate to their area.

Anyway, I’ll go back to gobblers when the rain quits. At least that’s my thinking at the moment. I like to hunt after a rain, when the birds are out foraging.

With the warm weather and lack of spring rains, the stream temperatures are getting near perfect; the mid to upper 50’s or low 60’s. The fish are getting active and will soon be rising to mayfly, caddis and stonefly hatches.

The action is starting on the Ausable River near Wilmington now. Yes, the fish are taking some flies on the Ausable River right now. Jerry Bottcher of the Hungry Trout Inn told me: “When the apple tree out front blooms, it’s time for the dry flies.” His apple tree is just starting to bloom, along with the shadbush and hobblebush! So I guess we have at least three vegetative indicators of when dry fly fishing starts!

Rich Redman is a retired District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and an avid outdoorsman. His column will appear regularly. He may be reached at rangeric@nycap.rr.com.

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