Early season out here is a crap shoot. If the sun is out for a few days in a row, the fish react well and you can have a great day. A little rain, clouds, or cold weather and you may as well stay home. Today looked good. Lots of consecutive sun, and I knew the ponds would be hot with active fish milling around. I started out in the am chasing pond fish, but that really isn't my favorite. After catching a few I decided to gamble and try an area of the river that sometimes heats up early. Well, it was hot!
I walked about a mile without seeing a fish, but then I stumbled onto one...then two. A few minutes later I had seen 5 and while I was still fish less on the river, I knew I had a good chance. The first fish I hooked weighed 18 lbs, and then I found the mother load. A massive pile of fish had tucked into one stretch of river (it was notably warmer). I snuck through the river on the deep side, staying in the cold water and trying to pick out the biggest fish in the pile. That strategy worked. I could have caught more fish, but by being choosy, I caught all kinds of quality fish. I ended up with around a dozen or so carp, 4 really big ones at 20, 21, 22, and 24 lbs! All the fish ate the hybrid, with most of them eating on the drop. Only a couple were really tailing, but a well placed fly would get one of the sleeping fish to simply follow it down and when the mouth flashed white I would set the hook. Great first day on the river!
I love it when they give you the fin.
I won't get out for a few weeks, but the water needs some more time anyway. All told I walked about 2 miles and all the fish were in a 100 yard area that had a nice temp difference. Overall, the river was pretty cold (46 degrees). Another couple of weeks when the temps get into the mid 50s and it is going to be red hot! Pray for more sun!