Marching into Spring

October 19, 2021
Matt Miles

Its been 15 days since I have had to wear thermals aka long johns, hallelujah!  February was cold and wet, thankfully we have had a 15 day break from rain with temps in the 50’s to 70’s, its been glorious. I have just finished up guiding for musky until Fall, why you ask?  Well the musky will spawn soon and there is a lot of other species that need my attention now that Spring has sprung.  I believe its best to leave the musky alone and let them spawn and make more fish that don’t want to eat but every 3 to 5 days.  The Fall/Winter musky ended with a bang, two fish over 40 inches.

Trout fishing has really improved like it usually does with warmer temps and longer days.  Mountain streams have been having Quill Gordon and March Brown hatches.  With all the weather in February the streams and rivers have plenty of water.  With the recent dry weather flows are great to get out and enjoy some dry fly fishing.  I will be running trout trips all the way through April.  April brings more bug life popping out the water like caddis.  The next couple months will provide some of the best dry fly fishing we have in Virginia.

Its also great time to target those big fat bellied smallmouth bass.  As the water warms fishing will improve until the spawn happens later in the Spring.  I went out recently on the James River to see if the smallies have woken up from their time spent glued to the bottom during Winter.  If you fish slow and low you can definitely get some bites and their going to be fat and healthy.  Crayfish patterns are a good choice when they won’t make the effort to chase down a minnow pattern.  As the water warms the fish will be more willing to chase down their food.

White bass have showed up on the Staunton River.  Unfortunately we have high flows and is making it tough to catch numbers.  I’m hoping the water drops soon.  It will not be long before the striped bass show up to!