Seasonal musings…..

I live in California’s Sierra mountains, around 6000 ft, near the town of Truckee.
We are still in the grip of winter here, such as it is. So far, a very light grip.
This could, of course, still change dramatically as March is our historic heavy snow month.
Whether we get more snow or not, I will of course, still go fishing.
So the only big question in my life is, what are the fish eating, naturally today?
Sure, right now I could drift a San Juan worm, or an egg pattern and catch fish.
I will readily confess to having done just that. There are times when we all really need a fish……
But my joy of fishing, now comes from knowing what’s on the fish’s, stream menu (or will be), nearly as well as the fish.
If I am dialed in on presenting a particular morsel, in the way it would naturally appear, at the right time, I will catch fish.
It could be I’m fishing a size 24 Dry midge, or a BIG Golden Stone nymph, with 3-4 AAA split shot to “get it down”, or even a streamer slightly smaller than my hand…. The style of presentation is not the point any more, merely the proper choice of technique for the moment.
Now I’m not sure what the exact time measure involved in a “moment” really is, but I have some grasp from watching bugs. Many times, I’ve seen a cloud pass over, and watched as the air-filled with a Mayfly hatch of Blue Winged Olives, that trigger, in-turn, a flurry of rises from feeding fish. A “moment” later the cloud may pass on, letting the hatch dwindle away. The fish that had been clearly rising, just “disappear”.
Ask anyone who’s stood in a stream a long time, it can switch on/off in a blink of an eye.
It’s this here-and-gone thing that fascinates me, as much as the life cycle/stages thing, or even the huge varieties of bugs that can come into play.
Still, after months of fishing the mostly, very-small-bugs-of-Winter, I can be tempted to look to the future.
This time of year I’m hearing rumors of Skwalla stone-flies (a bug of spring) running around the ground on lower elevation rivers (2000-3000 ft lower). This always leads me to smile, and sit a my vise to tye Skwalla patterns for sometime (soon?) in the future, at a time known only to the bugs.
I fish the current menu, but look to the Skwalla’s arrival, along with Spring.
The bugs move to a rhythm I can’t quite hear, but can readily see, All I need to do is look….
This rhythm is not the same every year, month, or day. There-in, lies the lasting fun over the years.
Unpredictability in nature, is what keeps fly-fishing fresh.
I just try to stay alert, have a well stocked fly-box, and be ready when the moment comes……

About Bigflyguideservice

Full time fly fishing guide on the Truckee River and other California state waters. Smaller stream techniques as well as switch rod instruction. 40 years experience fly fishing. Catch and release only.
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