Sunday, April 08, 2012

Catch and Release Opener 2012

April; you don’t get many of them in your life. Not one hundred or eighty; maybe you get 60-70 of them and of those you remember hopefully 75%. In April you can look ahead and count on six months of solid interaction with trout streams, the valleys of SE MN and fairly welcoming weather and conditions. March is good; April might be the best month though. April 1’s status as an “opener” of any sorts will likely soon be deleted as regs and seasons start down the path of simplification. It’s really not that complicated now, but the proposal that’s out there will be an improvement. Folks have been C&R fishing for months, but now more streams open for plying. Water even closer to home now open. Overall my take on complete C&R fishing remains unchanged: don’t like it. Don’t like 100% C&R that is; I like releasing fish but I like doing so according to the variables to be considered: trout density, size of the fish caught mainly. Still nagged and bothered by the reduction of something to “sport.” Rather, I’d like to enjoy the land and the water while harvesting a few fish. It’s not too much of a reach to say that during C&R a person can enjoy the land and the water while catching a few fish. So really my C&R problem doesn’t burn too strong; I do it and I enjoy it.

This fishing was largely unremarkable. Other than wet-wading early morning in April was good to go. Decided to try a new stretch of stream close by my place. Urban water; redone water. Got up before folks were awake. Hit the stream around 7:30 AM. Nymphing tandem rigs. Approx 12-15 fish to hand, only a few of which were moderately sized; no big fish. One RBT. Eating standard nymphs. Zero dry fly action. Air temp records suggest that it was around 43 F when I arrived; around 50 F when I folded up shop and walked out at 10:30. Few hours; handful of fish. Etc. etc. Can’t call it old hat but if there’s no dry fly action, no big fish, no brook trout, no beautiful valley, no kids along and no kept fish… what’s left? Still some good things but you might leave questioning the use of the time.

Afternoon the temp hit 65 F. It was an uncharted afternoon. All I knew was that I was going to get the boys into something good. Maybe trout, maybe carp. But we started off at the local trout pond and wet-wading was the deal. Not fishing. Building dams, implementing various engineering ideas and wading in a cold pond. I didn’t have it in me to suggest anything else; I let it play out and figured I’d react if they asked to do something else. So I lay me down in the dirt with my feet just at the edge of water. One of those good half-naps during which you are conscious enough to track things; see things through the blur of your nearly-closed eyelashes, etc. Looks like we have a problem situation, Danny said a few times when the dam would break. So we kicked away the day in pretty good fashion. C&R opener.


Blogger Stealth said...

I do some harvesting myself. I think C & R is definitely a necessity to keep the fish population up, but not 100%. The problem I have is the guys that put every minnow sized fish in their bucket; luckily, that's all they seem to catch. Any time I'm spending time on the water I consider it a victory.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Royce Gracie said...

Looks like the boy is throwing lefty - that's cool.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Being in the middle of two extremes (100% C&R and 100% meat-hunting) requires some thoughtfulness. And that's fine.

He does throw left. Need to play more catch.

12:47 PM  
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