Winter is fading, and Spring will soon be upon us. Although I enjoy fly fishing in the winter, often being the only one on the stream, I do look forward to the arrival of spring. It’s nice to shed a layer or two of clothing, and not have to constantly deal with ice in the line guides. Spring also brings the opening of trout season in Wisconsin and Minnesota, giving anglers around here more choices of waters to fish.
During the winter months, I usually focus on midge patterns, tiny mayfly nymphs, or streamers. It’s nice to be able to vary my choice of flies a little more.
I will continue to use midge flies – they tend to be a constant around here. But when March rolls around, I will also be watching for Tiny Blue Winged Olives to begin to hatch. My favorite version is a Parachute BWO in a size 20 trailed by an equally tiny emerger or nymph. Little Black Caddis will also show up on some streams in late March and into early April. I’ll usually fish these in a size 18 to 20. Early Black Stones will also begin to hatch. I try to keep some of these in my flybox in a variety of sizes from 10s to 16s.
In addition to the usual flies that I carry in my boxes, I’m looking forward to trying some new patterns this season. One is the Smoke Jumper Emerger, which is tied in sizes 16 to 22. It can be tied using a variety of materials and colors, and should be a great imitation for a variety of small flies.
Another one is the Marabare, a new variation on the traditional Hare’s-Ear. I found this one in a magazine article written by its designer, Vince Wilcox. Tied with a tungsten bead head, it should be a great fly for those deeper pools on some of our local streams.
So here is to Mother Nature, who has been fairly kind to us this past winter. I hope she will be equally generous this spring.