The surprisingly warm and sunny weather we’ve enjoyed earlier this month has brought eager fishermen out in the Special Regulations Catch and Release sections of the Beaverkill and Willowemoc since mid- March. In addition to early sightings of fishermen in the streams, we have seen good numbers of midges and stoneflies hatching and fish rising, even in the mornings. Water temperatures of at least as high as 49 degrees Fahrenheit have been recorded. Whether this early fishing activity continues remain to be seen, however, as the typical opening of the trout season usually brings high flows and cooler water temperatures, and we are expecting 1-3 inches of snow on Friday night, with snow and rain showers during the day on Saturday.
Due to the relatively snow-less winter we’ve just come through, there is very little if any snowmelt or runoff even from the higher elevations. We will be even more dependent on rainfall to sustain good water temperatures and stream flows throughout the fishing season.
Take care when entering the stream, as pools and riffles may have changed over the winter, and footing might be less than stable.
Opening Day of the trout season, April 1, falls on Sunday. During this week before the season opener, take time to inspect your fishing gear. Take out your waders or hip boots and check for leaks – shine a flashlight and look for holes or tears. Even a pinhole will cause a surprisingly large leak – and in the early season with typically chilly air and water temperatures, can make your fishing experience uncomfortable.
Check your rod for loose or worn guides, and your reel to see if needs oiling. Check your line for weak spots, and be sure to have enough tippet material. You’ll want to have enough nymphs and early-season flies on hand. It’s a good time to wash your fishing vest if you have not done so already, and see that you have fly repellent, sunscreen, sun glasses, clippers, etc. and anything else you may need in the pockets. Check your net to be sure the net bag is secure and not coming undone, and to make sure there are no holes in the mesh.
Trout fishers will need a current fishing license - fishing licenses can be purchased at most sporting goods stores and tackle shops and also in the Town Clerk’s office. Remember that the Town offices are not open on weekends, so be sure to have purchased your license by Friday in order to have it in time for Opening Day!