Quiet Hours

The quiet hours of the morning are often as productive as they are beautiful.

There is an advantage to old, discarded habits sometimes. During all of my working years I awoke at five each morning to prepare for the day. It seems that programming is now intrinsic to my body clock’s operations, though I arguably could sleep as late as I want. I don’t mind, in fact I actually enjoy it. The quiet hours of the morning are productive hours for me.

Just this morning I finished my preparations for a day’s fishing, even finding time to write this blog entry. Mornings are my favorite time to write. I tied a few new flies, some big, black, mean looking terrestrials I think might tempt a big brownie to the surface. River flows are still high as the storm runoff recedes, and runoff events tend to put a lot of different food into the current for trout. It can be surprising to understand just how long some of that food can stay around and be available rather than being instantly swept away.

Have you ever picked up an old, decayed mayfly dun or spinner from the surface? Bugs get caught in eddies and swirling currents all the time, and can spend a lot of time in one place until something disturbs the equilibrium of the eddy. That’s why I feel confident that some big, juicy looking runoff terrestrials could account for the fish of the day, making them an ideal fly for prospecting until a hatch begins. High water dry fly fishing is all about pockets of calmer water.

Last year’s update of my cricket pattern is a good fly for runoff prospecting. It is a bit larger than the small Baby Crickets I have tied and fished successfully for decades, sits lower in the water, and offers a little flash and some movement. A bank hugging brown that has had his leisurely slow water summer feeding interrupted by stormwater ought to love it!

The City has been trying to prevent spill from Cannonsville by running close to maximum release, putting twice as much cold, oxygenated water into the river. So far, so good. Now that most of the muddy, debris laden storm runoff has passed downstream, we anglers are hoping for some excellent daytime hatches. The window may be brief, as tonight’s and tomorrow’s forecasts include increased likelihood for more heavy thunderstorms. I hope Ma Nature gives us a break, letting us enjoy a week of great fishing instead.

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