For catch and release trout anglers, the season is open year-round on most waters.
However, for those who enjoy a healthy trout dinner, the season is just
starting in many parts of the country. Whichever category you fall in, there
are some early season tips that will help put you on fish. First off, be
ready for a little less elbow room!
Prepare To Walk
As the mercury rises, the fishermen and women emerge. Those anglers who
relish in the quiet solitude of the stream will probably find as much
frustration as fish in the next few months. There are still ways to be
alone, however. The earliest of risers and the latest of quitters will
often find a popular stream un-crowded. So will those who aren't afraid to
put some miles on the boots. There is no better time than spring to follow
the timeless words of Robert Frost. Indeed, the angler who takes the road
less traveled will find that it makes all the difference.
Fish The 'Marginal Water'
Anglers can look at an attractive piece of water and say "yes, I know there are
fish in there." But fewer can look at a stretch of marginal water and say "I'll
bet there's a fish in there." The best parts of the best streams will get
pounded in the next 90 days. The fish will see the same lures, flies, and
live bait over and over again. Being able to recognize overlooked water as a
potential goldmine can lead to some impressive catches. Don't just pass
over the long stretch of riffles or quiet pool tucked away in the
rocks. The fish in these overlooked places have seen much less fishing
pressure, and are therefore much more likely to take your offer.
Try Something New
Throughout the course of a day, a trout holding in a popular spot could see
hundreds of spinners, worms, flies, and PowerBaits.
And, if it's hungry enough, it just might take one. But the angler can
greatly increase his or her chances by thinking a little outside the box. After
seeing the same offering a couple hundred times, the fish is very likely to
recognize the "tom-foolery" taking place. Its attention can be had,
however, with a new offering, or, with the same one presented a bit differently. Adding
another split shot to the line, casting to a new location, or drifting the fly,
lure, or bait in a new way are all simple strategies to get the fish's
attention. Changing to something it isn't likely to have seen will surely get
it looking, and perhaps biting.
Let's be honest -- who among us enjoys pulling in to our favorite spot only
to find six other guys already waist deep? But it happens. It's a
testament to the joy of fishing that people will get out of the car, rig up,
and be angler No. 7 in the stream. It's definitely harder to catch fish
amongst the hordes of anglers. But with a little ingenuity and a willingness to
exercise, your rate of success will not get lost in the crowd
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