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Trout opener just around the corner

Cayuta Creek, shown here in early April 2013, is a great place to spend Opening Day.
Cayuta Creek, shown here in early April 2013, is a great place to spend Opening Day.Bob Bruns

Opening day, the true harbinger of spring, is just around the corner. The big day falls on a weekday this year, Tuesday to be specific, so for anglers venturing forth, that's a little bit of a benefit. There's likely to be a little less of a crowd on some waters.

Bring your rain gear. Tuesday's forecast looks decent in terms of temperature. Expect a high in the high 50's to low 60's after close to a week of high 40's / low 50's daytime highs. There's currently a 30% chance of rain in the forecast after a rainy weekend and remember that there will also be snowmelt. Expect water levels to be up and watch the USGS water gauge. If levels are rising, be prepared to change fishing tactics. Deep nymphing or heavy streamer fishing may be the order of the day.

Remember to bring the following if you venture forth:

  • Rod / reel (obviously). For small creeks a 4 weight is best, for larger waters a 5 or 6 weight. Length of the rod depends on the canopy. Unless it's a trickle, a 7 foot rod is a minimum length.
  • Rain gear and waders / boots. Remember to dress for the weather and always bring an extra change of clothing in case you take a dunk. Fingerless gloves are another recommendation. Always bring sunglasses.
  • Current license.
  • Split shot and/or a sink-tip fly line.
  • Indicators or sighter material.
  • Leader and tippet. Make sure this includes 4X or 3X
  • Broad selection of early season nymphs. Recommendations include: prince nymphs, pheasant tail nymphs, picket pins, midge pupa, hare's ear (black) nymph, BWO nymphs.
  • Early season wet fly patterns such as the pheasant tail soft hackle wet fly and march brown wet.
  • Attractor patterns: san juan worms, green weenies, assortment of small egg patterns, scud patterns.
  • Streamers: maribou streamers in white, olive, black, wooly buggers (make sure you have black or brown), small clousers, muddlers.

If you venture out next week, keep stream etiquette in mind. Many waters will be more crowded on the opener than any other time of the year. Give anglers room. It's always a good idea to ask an angler if it's OK to enter the stream above or below them. I find that 95% of the time they appreciate the courtesy. Happy hunting!