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Southern tier fly fishing: High water opener, fly fishing events

This picture captures what has anglers spirits damp - high, discolored water - even in the upper reaches of the West Branch of Owego Creek.
This picture captures what has anglers spirits damp - high, discolored water - even in the upper reaches of the West Branch of Owego Creek.
Rick Searles

Overall, it was a decent spring week, weather-wise. But good weather and good fishing rarely go hand in hand. We kicked off the trout opener week with some snow and then temperatures warmed decently and that seemed to put a damper on fishing plans over much of the local area. Most creeks and streams were fairly roaring by opening day due to snow-melt, run-off, and precipitation. Water temps were also very cold.

Even as of this writing, creeks and streams are swollen and discolored. While disappointing, these conditions are really more typical of the weeks following opening day and they do assure a better season for trout, which is something all anglers should want. For those still itching to get out and wet a line, start by fishing the headwaters as far up in the watershed as you can go. As previously posted, early season flies in dark colors are always effective, as are streamers in dark colors or very bright colors. Use weight or s sink-tip line as low and slow are the rule when the water is high and cold. Another option is to look for ice-free ponds or small lakes. Some of these are stocked with trout, but also may hold largemouth bass and panfish. Late in the afternoon on sunny days, the shallows will warm up and these winter-starved fish will often be up and fairly active cruising for food.

Following is an update on April fly fishing events, including some new additions:

  • April 8 - Leon Chandler TU Chapter monthly meeting at TC3 in Dryden at 7 pm, room and speaker to be announced.
  • April 11 - 12 - West Branch Angler 'Hell of High Water'. Celebrate the Catskills and Spring at this great fly fishing film and beer festival. This event is largely free and open to the public but some events require registration or have fees. Plenty of fly fishing gear to check out and fly fishing events such as casting instruction, fly tying, etc.
  • April 15 - Al Hazzard TU monthly meeting at 7 pm in Vestal Public library. Tony Ingraffea, a Professor of Engineering at Cornell University will share his experiences as a guide in Alaska for 22 years.
  • April 19 - A&G Outfitters Nymphing Seminar at noon at the fly shop in Dickson City, PA. More details to follow in an upcoming post.
  • April 24 - The BC Flyfishers, a newly formed Broome County IFFF chapter, will hold its grand opening organizational chapter meeting at 7 pm at the George F. Johnson Public Library in Endicott. More details to follow in an upcoming post on the event.
  • April 29 - Gander Mountain grand re-opening.

The week ahead is a mixed picture. Day-time highs will slowly edge upward into the 50's, with a chance at breaking into the low 60's towards the end of the week. Daily lows will begin to climb into above freezing territory but only as high as 40 degrees. More rain is on the way Monday (mostly), Tuesday (less) and on Friday. The combination of warmer temps and less precipitation should give anglers a chance to wet a line this week.

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