Well, I'm looking out my front window staring at what looked like, just a week ago, spring in March. Well that has sort of flipped around, like it usually does in Alberta, and now we're faced with another foot of fresh snow. However, temps are on the rise, looking like it will hit the mid teens this upcoming week, so the snow is likely to pull a Harry Houdini act once again, hopefully this time, for the last time. But I'm not holding my breath. It always seems like the month of march lasts forever, and depending on the weather through April, sometimes it can feel like we have 6 full on months of winter, which simply, sucks.
Now, sitting at my tying bench, usually spinning out articulated creations of about 3"+ in length regularly, I seem to forget the "Natural" or "Elitist" aspect to fly fishing. Going through my Lightroom library, I stumbled across some pictures from 2 years ago of some fantastic imagery of a golden stonefly hatch on a river up north that shall remain nameless, and looking back at it, I remember the native grayling, small bulls and wild rainbows being particularly fond of the clumsy bugs. Those pictures brought back some serious memories. Particularly, about 6 years ago, pre 2013 bow river flood, my father had a rare uninterrupted evening float on the bow, with the river to ourselves it felt like, and we hit the "golden" (they're actually short winged stoneflies) hatch head on. I remember coming around the bend towards the Highwood near sunset, and the water was simply alive, stones crashing every where, trout losing their minds. Just about every eddy and bucket I launched a skid bitch into, got an eat. It was simply ridiculous, that night, we put a personal best cuttbow in the boat of approximately 22", dark emerald green sides, as well as many of the fabled rockets, and a ridiculous hog of a brown snap me off 4x. All in a matter of about an hour. Of course, pre-flood, as soon as you'd pass the Highwood confluence, you almost couldn't buy a fish some days. So the fast paced experienced was really only in about a km and a half stretch of river.
It's not only flowing waters that hatch chasing can occur, I've timed some chironomid hatches on lakes, to the point where your bobber is seriously going down every minute. However those are daily, and offer fantastic fishing throughout the spring, the fish get big and it can be ridiculous. Another great hatch to chase is the damsel fly emergence, as the nymphs are crawling towards the shore in search of a place to hatch, pig trout will cruise around, follow them and eat them at will, and there's nothing like having a potential two foot trout, crush a fly at your feet.
Being a streamer junky, I seem to have forgotten the fun that can be had with bug hatch chasing, with this snow, the thought of big fish crashing the surface just gets my blood boiling. I had heard rumours of a friend of a friend hitting an almost impossible to time green drake hatch on my favourite cutthroat trout stream, and apparently, it was just simply silly. I also know from past experience, hitting the hatch head on is not necessary. Bow river fish will continue eating the stones for sometimes two months after the main hatch, and certain central Alberta brown trout streams that offer crazy green drake/Salmon fly hatches, also offer superb fishing days-weeks after the real hatch, with trophy sized trout constantly looking up for a high floating T-bone steak. It's something I seem to have lost the willingness to pursue since introducing myself to the white tipped finned, sharp toothed "trash trout". That being said, chasing the whitefish/sucker hatch is not a waste of time either. It's just tough choosing between the big bug hatches, and likely the best time of the year to fish bulls... Life's rough. First world Problems. I know.
Once again, I'm rambling. April 1st is next week, I'm ready to ditch the textbook and trade it for a fly rod. Maybe with this warm weather, a brown or cutt will show itself, by eating a Skwala stonefly next week. Maybe I should toss the 3wt in the truck, just incase the bulls don't cooperate.