Glimpses of Spring

Another little warm spell has graced the Catskills, though now the downtrend back to highs below freezing begins. Fifty degree sunshine brought a lot of anglers to the West Branch on Sunday. Despite the snow in the parking area it looked a bit like spring.

The sun on my back felt good as I swung my feathered enticements through the tail of the Gamelands Riffle, but there was no response. Unlike last winter, when I would catch a fish just often enough to keep myself going back each time the weather mellowed, this one has proved to be a time for exercise and reflection.

With Monday’s forecast improving to 55 and sunny, I set out again hoping some of the shallower water might just betray a little activity. Tired of the long spey rod, I carried my 8-foot Kiley bamboo, and rigged a dry fly leader. The day became more than was promised, all but kissing 60 degrees, and I tramped both the West Branch and the Mainstem. I saw one stonefly in the air over Junction Pool.

Winter remains, though my spirit appreciates the little breaks when sunshine and a light breeze over the river whispers promises of spring. Until that sunshine is more frequent there is reading and tying, and waiting.

Saturday is sure to provide a diversion, as fly tiers gather in Livingston Manor for the Dennis Skarka Flyfest. I look forward to the gathering and the chance to share ideas with fellow Guild members and, hopefully, to inspire a few youngsters to wrap a hook with fur and feathers to fuel their own anticipation for spring.

My own efforts to share the craft in this forum are continuing, and I have a third fly tying video to share. Slowly I am learning a few of the tools of the digital medium. Since the Halo Isonychia matches one of the most enduring hatches of our late spring and summer, it is only fitting to offer an imitation of the spinner.

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