As I sat and scrolled through last year's springtime adventures I could feel my heart rate climb as I anticipate the first arrivals of the year. The first arrivals of the year are our steelhead and the pre-spawn lake run smallmouth and in looking at the weather patterns and the current conditions of my rivers I am guessing that we are about 2-3 weeks out until we go into full springtime swing.
The first to come will be our steelhead as they are already starting to enter our river systems where they can. (some rivers are still completely frozen)
As the steelhead enters the system they have reproduction on its mind, but will aggressively take a fly. For the nymph, Fisherman egg patterns along with stone flies, caddis, and hex patterns are my top choices.
For those who know me personally and for those that don't my passion when given the choice,
I will 99 percent of the time swing the fly. For the first part of the season when dealing with high murky water I will swing flies on long heavy sinking lines with large profiles so as to grab a steelhead's attention. Flies such as my personal pattern the Covid 19, hobo speys, and various other baitfish patterns again with large profiles and natural colors such as olives, tans, browns, and blacks.
Coming in shortly after the arrival of the steelhead are the original river gangsters the smallmouth bass. We have a really cool scenario up here as the steelhead and pre-spawn smallmouth crossover so you just don't know what you are going to get. For the smallmouth, right out of the gate, it's all streamer sessions or swing time. Big nasty streamers such as D&Ds, Circus peanuts, and the like are the flavor of the day. Depending on the weather and how fast water temps heat up the streamer bite will transition to top water exploration as well.
If you are ready to test your skills and maybe even challenge yourself a bit give us a call or shoot us an email as these trips book up quickly and our window of opportunity is short-lived.