We are in uncharted waters. Recently, Covid-19 has swept the nation and brought the world to its knees. The entire country is on lock down and all non-essential businesses are closed. With no clear end in sight, there have been very few silver linings lately except for fishing.
Fishing has given many of us, myself included an opportunity to escape, now more than ever. I’ve been out a few times myself, but didn’t get an opportunity to blog about it until now. This post will be sort of a catch-up for the last few weeks. In order to ensure social distancing, I will refrain from posting locations until the lock down has been lifted.
The start of this trout season has been unusual to say the least. I’ve had more time to fish than ever since campus is shut down, and all my teaching and writing responsibilities are occurring remotely. At first this seemed like a blessing, until I realized many people are in the same boat.
Stocked trout streams have been mobbed, especially on nicer days. Every spot that has fish always seems to have an angler or two. Most of the people I’ve met have been pretty respectful. Many are just glad to be outside and most will maintain good social distance. However, there have been exceptions to this.
At a local river, I was nymphing the tail out of a run when a spin fisherman cut me off and started casting five feet above me. I was flustered, but he seemed oblivious to what he did so I just shrugged and continued fishing. He was throwing a heavy lure through a very rocky section.
A few casts in, he snagged a rock at the head of the run. He then waded through the run to retrieve his lure before leaving. It was a brief moment of consolation for me when I stepped into his spot later and caught a pile of fish while he left altogether not long after.
At another spot, a week later, a bait angler approached me as I was fishing a small pool. Every time I glanced downstream, he moved closer. Eventually, he stopped at the tail out and caught a fish a few minutes later. He called up to me, but I ignored thinking he was just talking to himself. A few minutes later, this happened again and he loudly announce what he caught. And, again. I don’t know if this guy wanted validation or was just happy, but it felt a little obnoxious to me. I just left.
Despite the crowds, however, I’ve still found willing fish. In some cases, I’ve had to walk up and downstream of popular spots to find solitude and willing fish (although, sometimes recently stocked fish can be reluctant to spread out right away). Other times, I’ve fished during non-peak times and have either gone out early or stayed out past dark.
Bad-weather days have also been a plus, as crowds are often small. Although fish haven’t been all that selective, junk flies have worked very well for me given all the rain.
How’s everyone else been doing lately?