In the midst of our late winter storms have been some really great days on the water. Everyday isn't red hot but compared to our prior months it's much more of what we are used to. If you're hesitant on coming out you should pull the trigger soon. The big fish are coming closer and closer and are being caught more frequently. Heavier storms and wind creating low light or mud lines have been frequent this last week and will be into the future. Bringing fish in close to the shallows for feeding frenzies.
On the other end on the calm sunny days that give a chance for the shallows to warm up have also been productive. Two reasons not to turn your nose at the blue bird days this time of year are simple. The cold water gets a chance to warm up allowing for more bug activity which will bring in baitfish as well. Also, the cutthroat are looking for that colder water that is starting to warm up to start cruising the shallows. Fishing around ledges and drop offs will be the fishier zones to have your flies. You might not be able to see the fish yet but they are out there and probably closer than you think.
The schools of fish are holding a little tighter so it's important to keep your flies in the water when the fish are biting or after releasing a fish. There will be period between fish, some longer than others but don't lose hope. They will come back around. When there is wind, clouds or both at the lake it isn't a bad idea to try stripping the beaches with bigger flats and any size ledge. When the sun is bright smaller presentations or nymphing is a good idea to try.
The flies needed in the box are still fairly similar to last week. For stripping or retrieving the popcorn beetle and boobie in all variations of colors have been bringing in big fish. Along with wooly buggers, clousers, and other bait fish patterns of your liking. Have fun varying your speed and cadence until you find your fish.
For floating line. The usual nymphs and midges in black, red and wine have all been equally productive depending on the day and weather conditions. You might have to go through a little bit of tippet before finding the right fly and depth. They will change day to day so it doesn't hurt to fish with a buddy to help figure out the puzzle. We have had some really fun trips this week with good numbers and few big fish in the mix. It has been cold but the fish help you forget about it. Please stay warm on the water and drive carefully. There has been ice on the roads early morning so don't race around the lake. Now's the chance to get your big one! And we hope we are around to witness it!