It seems as though winter has returned - and we are back in the ides of March rather than the merry month of May! Sunday was windy, cold and snowy - with snow sticking on the ground and deck. Needless to say it put a damper on the spirits of many who fish for trout - and as a result not many were out fishing. The blustery weather stayed on through Tuesday; despite the wind and cold, a friend decided to fish on his favorite stretch of the river. Seeing that it would be difficult to cast a dry fly, he used a Black Leech - which is a large dark streamer - and on his very first cast, managed to catch a beautiful 18-inch brown trout!
For those who have ventured out on the river these past few days, some caddis flies and Blue Winged Olives were hatching all during the day, along with March Browns in the afternoons. These large (size #10) mayflies are an important hatch, and eagerly awaited by trout fishers - as well as the trout who may take them with great splashy rises. The March Brown hatch coincides with the blooming of the bright yellow garlic mustard and the deep red trillium, or Wake Robin, as I noticed in the woods this past week while picking fiddlehead ferns. The cold weather seems to have put us behind in the hatches and blooms a bit - we’re just seeing the beginnings of the flowers coming out on the lilac bushes in front of the house and our honeysuckle hasn’t flowered yet - these coincide with the appearance of the Grey Fox, a fly that looks similar to the March Brown but is smaller, sizes #12 and #14.
The summer birds have been very apparent lately - a ruby-throated hummingbird is visiting the beautiful bright pink flowers on our PJM rhododendron regularly, and we saw three Indigo Buntings huddled up on the back lawn during Sunday’s snowstorm.
The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls is flowing at 477 cubic feet per second. This is slightly lower than the average flow of 519 cfs on this date over 102 years of record-keeping. Water temperatures have gone back down to the low 50s thanks to the cold nights and chilly windy days - but hopefully temperatures will warm up by the weekend.