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Week of March 3rd: Lousy Smarch Weather

The month began with a gorgeous, warm sunny day. The stone flies are out and the mayflies are right around the corner. I got out on the first of the month and got a great picture of trout - trout lilies, that is! (See what I did there? No actual trout. I was bummed)

 I admit, not a great picture, but this is a clear and regular sign of spring and brings me great joy to see each year.  The perennial plant is also called a Dogtooth lily, but I learned “trout lily” and its appearance signifies warm weather to come.   I learned just now from a bulb distributor - yes, I am serious about citing sources - the name “trout” in this lily comes from brown spots on the leaves that give the appearance of a trout!  I am going back to look, but they may show up when the plant has had more chance to grow.  Look for colonies of white, purple, and yellow.

The stoneflies are out, but without the snowpack on the bank, they are not as easy to spot.  I saw this one after my trip hanging out on the car: 

I did not get a picture of the sprouting skunk cabbage plant - they look like a xenomorph egg, so I naturally have an aversion to them, but they are popping open too. 

Nor did I get a snap of the many baetis flies that were dipping and diving.  Enjoy this slightly erotic slide show of Italian baetis nymph patterns to give you an idea of the variety of flies that are working now. Remember, BWO are tiny and mimicked with more than a proper BWO representation - WD40, RS2, and Al’s rat or Lenny’s Lady, will produce when conditions are right.  The naturals can be shades of black, olive, brown, and gray.

Finally, I swear I saw a BIG may fly flying around! Likely a Quill Gordon but it was kind of far away. There was only one and it moved from midstream away towards the opposite bank. To learn more about why it is called a “Gordon,” peruse this article from the Fly Fishing museum.   

Creating our own flies is a natural step taken by serious anglers (and by some who just love the craft and zen-like practice).  Consider honing your skills with a Signature Tyer Event - Matt Grobert, Tim Flagler and John Collins are, I think it is safe to say, the biggest names in and from New Jersey.  Sign up on our website if space is still available.

There is no end to the talent, known and unknown, we can witness at a tying event, like the ones recently at Czig Meister Brewery, in Hackettstown, led by Kino Torres and RVTU.  I humbly offer to show folks how to begin with 101 classes in the shop on Saturday morning.  Give it a chance.  We have a clamp-on vice for twenty dollars and the hooks and materials to get you going.

Spring stockings, and the river closures, are around the bend.  Gear up and get ready! Rain has already begun on the second day of the month and there are more days of rain than sun this first week.  Muddler minnows and streamers may be good choices when flows are up, but bugs are tough and will fight through, too, so keep an open eye and mind when choosing your fly.

See you out there, 

Roy B.


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