The first week of May brought good fishing in our area rivers and streams, and with it, dozens of cars filled the Fisherman Parking Areas. Great numbers of flies were hatching all during the day this past week despite the rainy weather. Hatches included a nice variety of flies, from Hendricksons to Caddis to Blue Winged Olives, and we had productive fishing using a size #16 Adams.
It’s amazing how our weather changes from year to year; despite the mild winter we had, April and May have been cold so far - difficult to believe but just a year ago we had early May temperatures in the 70s and even 80 degrees. We’ve noticed the Shadbush blooming since the last week in April, a bit early, and along the sides of the roads the Garlic Mustard has popped up (a weed that should be pulled as it spreads quickly) and with those come the bright red-flowered Trillium. The blooming of these spring flowers coincide with the March Brown hatch - and a report of a few of these large (size #10 and #12) have come in.
The shad are running - and although there have not been good runs of American Shad in years, due to overfishing, the Gizzard Shad are coming in steadily. The Gizzard Shad is small, about 10 inches in length, and sports a distinctive long dorsal fin ray. Over the weekend they have lured in great numbers of bald eagles near the Pepacton dam - yesterday Al estimated 20 - 30 eagles by the weir, and 15 in the trees! Many are immatures, but their large black forms are distinctive - and he invited anyone who would like a “photo op” with a long lens (as the dam area is off-limits) to stop by.