Fly-Fishing: April 1 is a red-letter day for anglers

If you’re not careful where you step today, the river itself might take you away. Trout streams norm

Let your heart be glad

Let the song of the river take you away.

—Roger Emerson, “Riversong”

If you’re not careful where you step today, the river itself might take you away. Trout streams normally run high in early April, and this year, most are much higher than normal.

We had some big late-winter snowstorms and a series of soaking rainstorms, most recently this week. So even though the temper­ature today is supposed to climb into the 60s and get even warmer for the first weekend of trout season 2010, our fishing will be limited to the tactics

required on blown-out creeks — using large, dark flies with lots of weight in “soft” spots out of the heavy current. Stonefly nymphs, streamers and Woolly Buggers, fished slow and deep along the edges of the fast water, may do the trick.

But it would be a shame not to try. After all, we April Fools have waited all winter for trout season — even those of us who fish year-round on those waters where it’s legal. In some states, like Massachusetts and Virginia, there is no longer any such thing as Open Day. Trout fishing is permitted everywhere, 12 months a year. This is generally a good thing. It provides a safe outlet for cabin-fevered trout addicts when the weather is decent. They even catch a trout now and then.

But there’s a certain pleasure in waiting until spring to return to the water. There will be people fishing on the Kayaderosseras Creek today, even though they were entitled to fish there Wednesday, too. Some may not be aware that most of the creek is open all year. But I suspect others will fish today because Wednesday wasn’t “trout season,” but today is.

“Let no man bury the pleasures of anticipation,” wrote Theodore Gordon in February 1908. “We are thinking of fresh yet balmy breezes, clear-rushing streams and deep, dark pools flecked with foam. The widening rings made by rising trout are easily seen if we shut our eyes for a moment. The duns are sailing down like tiny yachts with sails erect, and the little caddis flies are struggling and skittering on the water.”

We may not have any fishing like that today, or even in the next couple of weeks, but it’s coming, and it’s a welcome thing indeed. Happy trout season, and tight lines to all in 2010.


Ken Tutalo of the Baxter House Lodge in Roscoe will give a talk on “Guide Flies for Surface Feeding Trout” at the Clearwater Chapter of Trout Unlimited meeting April 19 at the Best Western Sovereign Hotel, Albany. Ron Boutin will demonstrate fly-tying at 6:30 p.m., and the chapter meeting with Tutalo’s presentation will begin at 7:30. The evening is free, the public is welcome. Information is available at


Fly-casting and fishing isn’t all that difficult to learn, but lessons will greatly speed the process and reduce frustration for the beginner. The Clearwater Chapter is offering fly-fishing lessons on Tuesdays through May 11 from 7-9 p.m. at Saint Joseph’s Parish Center, 45 Mac­Arthur Drive, Scotia. There will be on-stream instruction May 15 or 16, held on the Battenkill River from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting. The cost is $135 for TU members and $150 for non-members, which includes a one-year TU membership.

For additional information, call Rich Bogardus at 377-1022, Dick Hermida at 399-6272, or e-mail questions to Rich at [email protected].


The State Council of Trout Unlimited is offering a week of cold-water conservation ed­ucation, stream craft and world-class fly-fishing for youths ages 13 to 17 this summer. The Trout Waters Youth Program is scheduled for July 18-24 at the Land of the Vikings Resort near Hale Eddy on the West Branch of the Delaware River. Participating boys and girls will learn fly-casting, fly-tying, reading the water, river safety and more. Each day will conclude with fishing for the big, wild browns and rainbows of the West Branch.

Tuition, lodging and meals is $400, and participation is limited to 12 students. Applicants will need to write an essay and provide a reference from a teacher. Trout Unlimited volunteers will run the camp. For more information, contact Kurt Nelson at [email protected], or visit or Trout Waters Youth Program on Facebook, or write Belson for a brochure at 727 Dimmock Hill Road, Binghamton NY 13905. The program is sponsored by the TU State Council and Cortland Line Co.

Morgan Lyle’s commentary appears regularly in The Daily Gazette. Reach him at [email protected].

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