The Fly Fisher's Calendar
Story and Photo by Islandpool
Winter has passed and so have the memories of cold swift Rivers and Steelhead. The fly fisher now turns his attention towards spring and the beginning of a new fishing season. The first signs of spring to a fly fisherman are the Flying Ants. Non fly fishers greet the flying Ant as a pest, but to the fly fisherman the winged Ant means it’s time to head to the lakes again. The seasons of a fly fisherman are marked not by Months or days of the year, but by the hatches and the fish that will be seeking those hatches.
An observant fly fisher will know when each hatch will arrive and where to find the fish that will prey upon those hatches. The fly fisherman marks each passing season with the anticipation of the next.
Winter soon releases her icy grip on most of the Mountain lakes in which a flurry of activity has been hidden in the mud and weed beds on the lake bottom. Damselfly and dragon fly nymphs have been readying themselves to leave their watery world and become winged insects to fill the skies with flashes of blues and greens. The fly fisherman knows that the damselfly and dragonfly nymphs will need to swim from their protective underwater world towards the shallows and reeds to emerge and that is when the trout seeks them also.
There are dozens of effective Fly patterns to imitate the nymph stage of these insects. The fly fisherman must know when, where and how.
In the spring the insects move towards the shallow water, so the fly fisherman needs to Cast his fly line and fly out from the shore towards the deeper water and allowing the line and fly to sink just below the surface, moving the fly slowly and steadily, paying attention and waiting for any pause in the flies movement and be ready to set the hook. Trout will almost always attack the nymph from the bottom and take the fly and return to the safety of the weeds and drop offs. Most fish are lost because the fly fisherman pulls the fly away from the fish. Hooks must be sharp!!!
Spring turns into summer and the heat of the day keeps most fish in the deeper, darker places in the lake. The Best times to fish in the summer season is early morning or late evening. Summer is dry fly season!
Fish along drop offs and in deeper bays where streams enter the lake. Fish near logs and beaver damns. Trout will cruise along the edge of drop offs and watch the surface for Bee’s, Beetles and other flying insects that fall onto the waters surface. The best fly for the summer season is a deer hair fly, creased lightly to float on the surface. The deer hair fly can be pulled across the surface to imitate a struggling insect or an insect that is attempting to pull free from the waters surface. Attacks from trout can sometimes be explosive.
Fall is the magic season for the fly fisherman. The days are cooler and getting shorter, the flying insects have planted the next generation among the reeds and weed beds and have all but vanished over the lakes surface and the trout now turn their attention to the weed beds and stream mouths.
Fall is also the season of the Salmon. Coho dance and leap along the miles of shoreline of the mainland and Vancouver Island. The salmon move within casting distance of shore and best approached by wading and following the salmon as they form schools before heading up their natal streams.
When finally the last salmon has moved with the currents and tides and drawn to their natal rivers to spawn and die and plant the next generation amongst the gravel and stones, soon the North winds and chill will fill the air with a hint of winter and the fly fisherman now dreams of cold swift rivers and Steelhead again…. So are the seasons of the fly fisherman.