Real Catskill Mountain April trout fishing

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Eperous
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm
Location: Catskills

Real Catskill Mountain April trout fishing

Post by Eperous »

After shooting blanks on a very cold, windy afternoon Tuesday, I decided to take another shot at fishing Wednesday... this is what real-early-April trout fishing in these Catskill Mountains is like... from yesterday's journal entry...

April 3rd: Tree tops danced in the winds, a silver sky spit large snowflakes, and the air temp hadn’t even broke the thirty-degree mark by the time I parked my Tacoma. Though I wore fishing gloves yesterday, my fingers were often numb, the tips cracked and grew painfully sore. This morning I wore five layers of fleece and high-tech undershirts, plus a Gortex windbreaker. And today I coated the end of my fingers with Vaseline for added protection. I also brought along a Thermos of hot coffee which I sipped at every opportune chance. This is the true essence of early-April trout fishing in the Catskills.

The little brook was low but crystal clear and icy cold. I crunched my way upstream on snow-lined banks. The guides on my 7½ foot Battenkill required my constant attention, clearing them of ice that obstructed my casting stroke, though for the most part I dabbed a two weighted nymphs on a very short leader. And my feet felt like frozen lead as I moved along. One pool we fished Monday was covered with skim ice today. It was bitter, downright nasty if you must know.

It’s often said that a “bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” Well I agree, though the wind blew and the snow fell. This much is for sure, you can’t catch trout unless you have flies in the water. Somehow I managed to hook 4 fish and land 3 small brook trout. Then I relocated, before quitting at 2 PM, and hooked 2 more fish, landing my first wild rainbow of 2013. I’m fairly sure--- but can’t be positive--- that it was the same rainbow my son caught opening day. And, if it was, it made it all that much more special, reconfirming the benefit of catch and release.

I wandered this little stream for 2½ cold hours today during which I hooked 6 fish, landed 4: 3 brookies and 1 bow--- all on the Epeorus Nymph, though I also used a Muskrat dropper.

By the time I quit, the air temp hit 34 degrees; it was almost downright balmy. And, as I said, this is what early-April trout fishing in these Catskill Mountains is all about; ya got to love.

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Ed

Beaverkill
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 10:08 pm
Location: Califon, NJ

Re: Real Catskill Mountain April trout fishing

Post by Beaverkill »

Nice story Ed... You mention that you were using a short leader... Are you tight lining nymphing or casting your nymphs? Just curious as to your approach as the creek seems clear and low.. Thanks for the small escape from my office boredom... Is it Friday yet?
Dan Ansbach

catskilljohn
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: Real Catskill Mountain April trout fishing

Post by catskilljohn »

Beaverkill wrote:... Is it Friday yet?
Ohhh mannn, you got that right! :lol: CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

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Eperous
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm
Location: Catskills

Re: Real Catskill Mountain April trout fishing

Post by Eperous »

Beaverkill wrote:You mention that you were using a short leader... Are you tight lining nymphing or casting your nymphs? Just curious as to your approach as the creek seems clear and low.. Thanks for the small escape from my office boredom... Is it Friday yet?
Dan, on most days like this, I'm fishing my leader only... usually a short roll cast, sometimes one quick backcast, than shoot my rig forward... a couple times Wednesday I tried lengthening my cast and that's when I noticed ice in the guides as the line would not flow through the ice-chocked guides...

As for Friday, let me add this general comment about conditions in some places... there's a lot of snowpack on Slide Mountain, surrounding the stream banks that drain the Catskill's tallest peak... as the weather warms, snowmelt will find its way into these brooks depressing trout fishing--- IMO--- for the immediate future... Tuesday I got out fishing late, around 2 PM, and though air temps only reached 35-36 degrees, the brook was cold due to snowmelt on a windy, somewhat sunny day... I never had a hit Tuesday... thus Wednesday I decided to fish EARLIER in the day, before any snowmelt would further depress stream temps and did better... Thursday--- today--- the weather was much nicer yet, but I cleaned windows and raked leaves, a tad stiff this evening... but that sets me up--- hopefully--- for some fishing Friday...

So where there's snowmelt, conditions can vary... even though it's been dry of late--- some snow, but not really measurable--- if you look at different stream flows on the USGS website, you might notice some saw-tooth-like flows patterns, like here on Biscuit Brook up at Frost Valley: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/uv/?s ... 0065,00060 These daily fluctuations in flows are caused by snowmelt, not precip... as the day warms, water temps drop as you can imagine and trout usually shut down...

I noticed your post about fishing the East Branch on opening day... I believe below Pepacton, a good bet since I doubt snowmelt is an issue at all... in fact, as you know, as the day warms up, the fishing should get better due to increased insect activity and warming water temps... not true of streams currently draining the Slide Mountain range...

Dan, and CJ--- good luck fishing this weekend... ;) I usually pass on weekend fishing, wait till Monday when everyone is back at work... :o

Ed

PS - I move very slowly heading upstream... no wakes on the water... no grinding of stones underfoot... no quick movements... a "slow go"... STEALTH!!!!! I believe this allows me to get close to wild trout w/o spooking them...

dennis
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:37 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Real Catskill Mountain April trout fishing

Post by dennis »

Exellent,

Have always enjoyed your reports.

Dennis

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northcountryman
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Location: Monticello, NY

Re: Real Catskill Mountain April trout fishing

Post by northcountryman »

So the water temp was actually higher earlier in the day because of no additional snow melt? Weird! Any flyfishing fishing literature that Ive ever read almost always recommends anglers fish around mid-day at the start or end of the season when water temps are colder so as to let the sun come up and warm things up a bit, but I guess thats not always the case. I'll have to remember that! :)

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