Spring is upon us! The weather has been very nice the past few days and continues to look good into the week. This is my favorite time of year to fish. Trout are on the prowl after a long cold winter, tons of steelhead are in the rivers to the north, and warm water fishing is just about to get good. Brookville this past weekend proved no exception. The water was at a perfect level of 3.3ft, air temperatures were awesome, but most importantly the fish were feeding. Water temperatures will still take some time to warm up though.
I picked up close to a dozen fish this weekend. Unfortunately, with increased fish activity comes increased fishermen as well. Everyone who didn’t want to put up with the crazy winter are now coming out of hiding and getting to the river to make up for some lost time. With this said, I would get to the river at day-break and get in your favorite spot to make a presence. As temperatures continue to increase, fish will become more active earlier and earlier in the day.
As far as flies and techniques go: go small. Small flies and small tippet becomes the name of the game as water levels drop, flows clear, and spring arises. Midges are one of the main food sources at Brookville. Red and black zebra midge nymphs fished in sizes 18-22 with 6x tippet are deadly. When days are sunny, such as this Sunday, going small and light is also very important.
My go-to setup this time of year is a small, dark nymph such as a Little Black Stone or a Prince in sz. 16 connected with 5x fluorocarbon with a small midge trailer connected with 6x fluorocarbon. As flows drop, smaller white or more neutral colored indicators begin to appear on my rigs as well. My favorite are the 1/4″ white Thingamabobbers. Little to no weight needs to be added to rigs in shallow waters as well.
In the mornings, larger streamers can still be very productive. I picked up four fish in the first hour of fishing using a new white Fish Skull streamer we just added to the D&H fly bins. Be sure to be stocked up on Rio Fluoroflex Plus tippet in 5x and 6x, a good selection of midges and a couple streamers. This is all that is needed to have a successful day on the water.