April 1, 2012 - Opening Day - Lehigh Style!
Conditions were less than desirable. Air temps were in the low-40s and the water not too much warmer than that. The plan was to focus on a stretch where we've been seeing rising fish the last couple of weeks, but upon arrival and a scan of the flat we found no bugs, and obviously no fish working. The group worked buggers, wets, nymphs under an indicator and other assorted streamers with no luck. We really worked it hard, with maybe one bump between the group. Lock jaw had set it! The water temps had really plummeted, close to 10F over the course of the week.
The group decided to moved downstream a bit and work another piece of water. Again, maybe one bump between the group, utilizing similar techniques, but at about 2pm we began to notice a few quill gordons popping here and there, along with some smaller olives. Definitely a positive sign! So we moved back upstream, but still no fish on the smattering of bugs.
With nothing still happening we decided to reconnoiter over a beer and a bite to eat. Time frame about 4pm or so. After the bite we fished a different side of the long run we focused on earlier and this time we were greeted to a couple of risers. There were quill gordons and olives on the water. Not a lot, but obviously enough. However, they there was a pretty good concentration on the foam line. The first riser we saw, though subtle, was mowing bugs from the surface. Head, dorsal, tail. Should have video'ed the fish for a bit. Text book rise form.
A well placed 14 BWO and he ate. Solid fish, and solid fight! Shortly there after another anlger in the group smacked another solid brown on a quill gordon wet.
It is safe to say when we do get another warm spell the river is gonna light up. I would have never thought we'd see rising fish, but they are instinctively looking up at the moment. They just want to surface feed and nothing is going to stop them. So as long as the Lehighton gage continues to border on all-time record low levels for the date, these fish are on the bugs as opposed to the usual early-season forage fish imitations.