It’s been a long cold winter, but spring is starting to show up. The Savage tributaries were firing on Sunday. We had a great stonefly day. It started with stonefly nymphs and finished with super dry fly action. The first blue quills of the year were hatching too, so things are getting ready to pop! Thought I would share this picture of Savage River Angler posse member Snarf and a fine Hot Creek, CA brown that he somehow hooked up with another nice brown in it’s throat. The Zebra midge was stuck in the tail of the brown that was dinner. Pretty cool.
I fished the lower Savage, a brook trout stream, and the North Branch Potomac this week with a good friend who was in town from California. All three days we spent on the water were about as good as it gets. There were an awful lot of dry fly fish taken, equally as many on nymphs and buggers. We fished mainly streamers in the Savage and crushed large-monster size browns. The North Branch floats have been excellent with lots of dry fly and streamer opportunities.
Savage River Angler floated downstream from the paper mill again today in hopes of moving some big pre spawn browns along with the large rainbows and smallmouth we were expecting. The mill has not been releasing any effluent this week, so we expected good visibility for both anglers and hungry fish. We didn’t get a whole lot of what we were expecting in the morning, however. The water was a very nice milky clear, but we only caught around 10 smallmouth before lunch, and had at least a couple of VERY nice rainbows come off. The water temperature had cooled dramatically overnight to 56′ though, and we hoped things would heat up as the water warmed throughout the day. Man did it ever! We noticed a big difference in the action immediately after lunch. Lots of small fish initially, and then we got down to a certain pool and I noticed a TON of rising fish. Upon inspection, I quickly realized we were in the middle of a full blown flying ant eruption. #16 cinnamons and #20-22 blacks were everywhere and the fish were feeding furiously. A quick change in tippets and flies and we were throwing to a lot of very fine rainbows. The bass were also getting in on the ant action and quite a few were landed along with rainbows that were lined up all the way down the pool. We didn’t catch any large bass on the ants, but in between rising pods of trout and small bass we started to catch some really nice smallmouth on big stuff. Talk about an unbelievable finish. It doesn’t get much better!
The trout fishing is starting show signs of big fish activity. We had a pretty fun one the other day. We decided to pursue bass and large trout today downstream from Bloomington. It started off well with around a dozen trout, but oddly not too many bass. The water was 6 degrees cooler (60) than it had been the day before, so maybe the bass didn’t like the drop in temp. Anyhow, buggers and caddis pupa did the most damage for us. Here’s one of Royce’s fine trout from the day he caught while stripping a wooly bugger.
The streams have been firing this last week.
The water is back down and the flows are perfect again. I have floated the NoBr Potomac a few times through the paper mill and have had very good action both on top and fishing streamers. Lots of smallmouth bass and trout taking everything from poppers and mouse patterns to buggers and clousers. Yep, the trout are taking the poppers too. Fun stuff. The lower Savage has fished well too, but it’s more of the same. Lots of small fish on top and moving a few more of the bigger ones fishing streamers.
Here’s where the goods were at this week though. The little brook trout streams have been a real treat again for a few anglers that had me show them a couple of quality public access streams. The brookies have started to get a lot of their fall color now. The brookies are really aggressive right now.
Savage river Angler has spent a fair amount of time fishing some of the little fish streams the last couple of weeks. It’s been phenomenal on the brook trout water. The flows have been good on the trib’s and the fish have been responding well. The are attacking anything that you throw in the water. Terrestrials and caddis have been my staple for the last several outings. The males are starting to put on that gorgeous color that they get in the fall.