Monday, March 21, 2016
Signs of Spring
Most of the signs are there...green shoots of grass, budding trees, those robins that are constantly searching my excuse for a yard for their next meal (I guess it's easier for them when your yard is half dirt). I've been paying attention these past few weeks and the signs have not gone unnoticed, somewhere in the dark reaches of my brain a plan has been developing to find out if the signs are truly harbingers of another changing season or just a tease by Mother Nature.
Spring for me means the end to a long Winter of trout fishing and the beginning of a new chapter, one that has perhaps become my favorite time of the year. Spring for me, above all else, means hungry smallmouth bass waking up in many of the Ozark streams and aggressively chasing streamers.
Those brown beauties start slowly dispersing from their Winter haunts and searching out the prime lies in the river where they'll begin to put on the feed bag in preparation for the upcoming spawn. If you're a smallie guy then you undoubtedly know the scenario I speak of, and if you're like me, it has to be one of your favorite times of the year.
Some years it might be the end of March or even the second week of April before things really get moving in the right direction. Often times old man Winter still has a solid grip on things this time of the year and warmwater fishing is but wishful thinking. This year we had a very mild Winter and we've had several days already that have felt like mid June instead of March, thus that little voice in the back of my mind saying Go!...Go!!...Go float your favorite smallmouth stream and see what's going on. After all, the worst thing that can happen is a nice float down an empty river and a skunking at the end of the day, those are odds I can play with.
I tried to round up some company for my little one day excursion but couldn't produce any interest among my fishing buddies. Too early for smallmouth...it's gonna be overcast and rainy...six hours of driving for about the same amount of fishing time. No thanks, I'll wait til the fish are biting. The excuses were many and probably all valid points but I'm not that easily discouraged (or maybe it's just that I'm not that smart!).
Needless to say I made the trek down South and floated one of my favorite smallmouth creeks this weekend to see if the signs were true? From the lack of people on the water, I never saw another person, I'd say the general concensus is that it's still too early for smallmouth.
They were definitely right about the weather, it rained and I got wet.
As for the six hours of drive-time, no biggie, I do it all the time for but a slim chance to catch a fish. What else was I gonna do..stay home and watch college basketball??
What I discovered is that it's still early, there were a few hungry fish but I'd say you should probably wait at least another couple of weeks before trying it yourself.
After all the weather this time of year is pretty unpredictable anyway and besides that, there's all that basketball on TV. Maybe in a few more weeks it'll be worth getting out on your favorite creek...but definitely don't go now!!
Posted by HighPlainsFlyFisher