Winter to Summer to Winter again

The mountains continue their greening as the roller coaster weather of a Catskill Mountain spring rolls on. We fished in summer conditions mid-week – 81 degrees, low, clear water and sparsely scattered mayflies, but the rains and winds transformed the rivers quickly. Talking with my friend John this morning he told me “everything is covered in white” at his cabin high in the headwaters of the Beaverkill.

It was close to freezing here in Crooked Eddy, and the rivers are high and clouded. Both Delaware reservoirs are spilling and, with showers expected regularly over the next week, that seems likely to continue. I expect to need my drift boat when the hatches begin in April, and often park it as good wading conditions herald the lovely month of May. This year looks to be a reversal of those norms.

My boat has been ready to go since March, when long stretches of warm weather had me itching to row and drift my way to some early dry fly fishing. To date, it has only been wetted by rainfall; and the dry fly fishing, though early, didn’t happen in March.

I prefer wade fishing, always have, as I like to stalk the riseforms that speak to me. Floating allows a pair of anglers to cover a great deal of water, though that perceived advantage is offset by the ever lurking decisions to be made. To stay or go; might the hatch begin on this pool as we drift downstream and enter the next one? One rule overshadows each choice: you cannot go back. A wading angler can walk both upstream and down, and he may take the time to study the water closely as opposed to wandering. That is often how I find the prize.

Neither fills my palette today. There are flies to design, a continuation of the trend, and tackle to maintain. Let the weekend crowds frolic in the cold, muddied waters. I will bide my time, perhaps try that rod that has been waiting five months to see water for the first time. There’s a new line spooled upon it’s designated reel, one not yet cast. It nearly got the test in last week’s fleeting summer-like conditions, though I blinked and the moment vanished! We’ll both be ready for the next time…

Jave Quill Invaria CDC Dun

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