Fish Small Streams This Early Spring

With the winter snows melting, here is the upshot: fish smaller streams.

He predicts the large snow pack will blow out our watersheds, but that the feeder streams will settle down faster.

Moreover, I emailed with a contact at Massachusetts DFW regarding trout stocking. Unsurprisingly, they’re expecting a delay, but they’re not sure how much. They need the river roads to be traversable before they can roll their trucks.

I don’t think we can do much about the latter, but there’s a lot we can do about the former: find streams.

Here’s where technology is our friend. If you click here, you’ll get to a map, on which there’s a data overlay of water bodies that DFW defines as “Coldwater Fish Resources” (their explanation here). And, if you want to see the full list, which you can sort alphabetically, click here.

So, I’ll be looking for feeder streams into the main rivers and will be targeting those. After much internal debate, I decided to buy a 1-wt. rod and am eager to try it out.

But, I know myself too well. It would be really hard not to sneak a peek at some of my favorite rivers, too. I mean, here’s a pic of the Westfield River. My mouth just drools when I see it.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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6 thoughts on “Fish Small Streams This Early Spring

  1. There's a couple more data layers on the MassGIS page that can be useful for finding good trout streams:

    1. Bedrock Lithology (Select Group B Detailed)

    The bedrock through which a stream flows affects its buffering capacity, which is the water's ability to resist changes in pH. Streams with high buffering capacity tend to be more productive, which means more food for trout. In addition, some types of bedrock are more likely to have springs.

    The two types in MA which have the most productive streams are Calcpelite (light blue) and Carbonate (dark blue). Most of my favorite trout streams are in the two large Calcpelite bands.

    2. Aquifers (Select Aquifers by Yield Green Shades)

    An aquifer is basically a large pool of groundwater near the surface. When a stream flows through an aquifer there are often springs adding cool groundwater to the flow, providing coldwater refuge for trout in the winter, and slightly warmer water in the winter.

    Also keep in mind that most of the CFRs were listed as a result of surveys from the early 2000s. Unfortunately many have since lost their trout populations. Others have trout, but are so small and brushy to the point of being impossible to fish .

    If I go out to explore new water I usually pick a couple of streams close together in case one stream is no good.

    1. Coleman, this is awesome. Very insightful. Also, am I right in that you're the original source who referred me to the GIS site under a pseudonym on Reddit? If so, you are one heck of a fisherman. Please consider contributing to this blog? We want as many as many people as possible to do so.

    2. Yeah that's me. And I would be glad to contribute. I'm thinking of doing a longer write up on using internet resources to find streams – I'll email it to you when I'm done if you want to put it here.

      I also know a little bit of JavaScript and HTML (not much though) and I could set up a page with embedded flow graphs from USGS in place of outside links.

      Another cool idea would be write-ups on some of the major rivers including flies that work, good access points, and recent fishing reports.

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