It’s almost springtime in the Rockies. The nights are noticeably shorter and warmer; a key ingredient to good, early season fishing. Longer days mean our abundant sunshine has more time to work on the water temperature in our rivers. The shorter, warmer nights are no longer able to drive the water temperatures lower, as they did only a few weeks ago. It won’t be long now until we see some of the best fishing of the year.
Every year, we wait until the water warms enough to trigger truly significant midge hatches and, eventually, the first Blue Wing Olive mayfly hatches of the year. The fish are waiting also. They are not oblivious to the warming water and subsequent increase in insect activity. And most days, just choosing a fly that is “about right,” will bring double-digit numbers of fish to hand.
In addition, the warmer water increases a trout’s metabolism, making their feeding more aggressive and necessary. Warmer water encourages trout to move from their slow, deep winter water into more angler friendly areas of the river that have more current and less depth. In fact, during a strong, spring mayfly or midge hatch we might even find trout feeding just below a heavy riffle (but probably not in the highest velocity water in the riffle). Couple the trout’s increased feeding aggression with the fact that the majority of them haven’t mistakenly tried to eat a fly in months…..I think you get the picture.
This late winter/early spring time frame isn’t typically a popular time of year for the masses on our rivers. Most days, your favorite river(s) will be awaiting your arrival with open arms and few, if any anglers. The general lack of tourists visiting our area in the early spring, a general angler disinterest in battling the inconsistencies of spring in Rocky Mountain and our tremendous amount of public river access all contribute to decrease the likelihood of finding your favorite stretch of river over-run with other anglers.
If you choose to fish our Rocky Mountain early season you will likely find hungry fish, increasing numbers of insects and a relatively quiet river. How can this not be some of the best fishing of the year?