What tactics are good for early season trout in the NE? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What tactics are good for early season trout in the NE?

03-17-2003, 07:29 PM
OK, now that the weather seems to be improving (finally!) I'd like to try to actually catch some fish. Since there is still plenty of ice on the lakes and ponds and the water in the rivers is still frigid, I figure that trout are my best target for the next couple of weeks. I admit to being somewhat ignorant when it comes to trout fishing. Most of the trout that I have caught were incidental bycatch and/or stupid stockies. I know very little about how to try to catch trout, especially this early in the season.

Does the "deep and slow" tenet hold true for early season trout? Are there any situations where I may want to try faster, shallower water? Should I try winged insect imitations, nymphs, streamers, or some other type of fly?

When I was out on Sunday there were some insects flying around and landing on the water. They did not appear to be hatching, and there were no fish rising to eat the flies that were on water. I'm not even sure what they were -- they looked almost like mosquitos but without the long legs. I didn't have any flies that "matched the hatch", so I tried woolly buggers, the scud from the fly swap and some small nymphs, all fished as deep as possible on a dead drift or moved veeery slowly, but got nary a bump as far as I know.

Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.



03-18-2003, 08:47 AM

It's still pretty early yet and will probably take any holdover fish a couple of truly mild days in a row to get their metabolism up.

I wouldn't fish dry flies unless you are sight casting to a fish or they are rising regularly. What you saw in the air were probably winter caddis or tiny black stoneflies (which crawl to shore to hatch and do not emerge from the surface film).

You might want to turn over some rocks in your home waters and see what's crawling around down there. Then use a generic pattern (PT, GRHE) to immitate.

Wolly buggers slow and deep are never a bad idea - maybe try stripping them through the depths as well.

Where are you fishing down there?

03-18-2003, 08:32 PM
Thanks Dave. I was fishing a small stretch of the Housatonic River a short distance below the Woods Pond dam. There are a couple of deeper eddies and some faster riffles in that area but no large deep pools. In the past I have caught, or seen caught, some very nice brown trout (up to 24"), along with pike and the usual assortment of warmwater fish.


03-20-2003, 05:15 AM
Sinking line and muddler, Mickey Finn or Gartside Yellow Soft Hackle fly. If they are just out of the truck they like streamers. Also a Black Ghost works for me. Fish mid day as the sun will warm up the water a bit. FishHawk Tight Lines

John Desjardins
03-22-2003, 07:48 PM
I like bankers hours for fishing early and late in the season. My luck is so so until after 8 or so. PT nymphs, soft hackles & Hornbergs are my starting flys at this time of year. Sometimes freshly stocked fish like a March brown dry.

03-22-2003, 10:39 PM
Temps are usually cold in the AM in the NE, but tend to warm and get some sun on the water by mid morning. Usually, fishing is slow early, but gets progressively better as the day wears on. Usually about the time the early birds leave, the fishing starts to pick up. And the water temp has come up a little bit. Try fishing the warmer spots, the shallower flats, etc.