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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Middle Fork Feather River Trout Opener ~ 2014 Fishing Report

First tracks. What a sweetheart of a day, warm, little wind, with plenty of early spring grandeur bringing new beginnings. It's always impressive when walking into a section of a rich watershed like the MFFR that has not seen human pressure for a long time. Birds beyond belief. Waterfowl like Mallards, and wood ducks. Song birds going crazy, carrying on like a finely tuned orchestra. Marsh wrens plying in the branches where the spiders weave their webs, among the willows. Amazing.

With the new blanket of snow on Eureka peak, and other adjacent mountains, this opener was a little more typical with a good current, and robust holding water. Water was tea colored, typical of the upper MFFR, with water temps ranging from 48 - 53 degrees. Full on Guerilla tactics today, deep nymphing with lots of lead, with and without the bobber. Rod #2, 24 foot express sink tip with a Truckee River inspired streamer. 

Mid morning was slow, but once the water warmed to 53 degrees there were grabs to be had. Not red hot fishing by any means, not yet, it's coming though. It's all about 55-60 degree water temps on the MFFR. The native trout here are very different from their Truckee creed who have colder conditions, and have adapted through the years to be more active in such.

Hare's Ears, small nymphs like Lance's X May, and Copper Johns were productive.  Fine tuning your leader with split shot and weighted flies, made the difference today with solid hook ups.

Yes! Early spring can be rewarding like this "rare" brown trout from the river, they're there, just not caught very often. This is the most beautiful brown I have hooked up with, so clean! What a day maker....

The afternoon brought the bugs out, they have their own schedule. BWO duns in big numbers, a few March Browns, and a stoner I've been bumping into for the last 3 months, the Skwala Stone. Whenever  I get to experience, and witness, a flourishing mayfly hatch it moves me. To see how the ecosystem revolves around each other is quite a fascinating thing. That alone keeps me alive. The water temps were just too cold for these fish to look up, it's almost always been that way on the opener and weeks following, with a few exceptions. Dredging deep with drag free drifts is the game right now, plan on losing flies.

Right now fishing is slow, warmer water will dictate better numbers. This season on the upper MFFR will be even shorter than last years. I'm going to make the most of it, it's such a unique river.

It was so stunning today, and indescribably special. I felt the presence of my dad, he was with me in the drifts, and all was good....

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