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Spring outlook on the North Fork


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Outlook for Spring fishing on the North Fork.

Hopefully like most springs we'll have some rain move through the area. Like I have said for a while now the water levels are holding up really well for us having very little rain for several months, the water column is high....for now.

As temperatures start to rise and hold fairly well the hatches will start to really develop. BWO's, Caddis, and Mayflies will hatch really well at times. My #1 dry fly is a #14-18 Parachute Adams but an Elk Hair caddis, and Stimulators need to be in every fly box on the river.

The #1 fishing method on the river is undoubtably nymphing. The North Fork probably has the biggest Stoneflies in the mid-west (I have seen some in the river that were close to 3 inches long) so they are a staple in all fly boxes on the river. The Prince Nymph is very possibly the #1 all around fly on the river a great all purpose nymph that will catch fish anywhere there is water. Copper Johns are quickly becoming a go-to for me, I didn't believe the hype for a long time but now I need to give credit where credit is due, this fly saved the day several time last year. I mostly use red and green but but I need to try the all black for the stones. Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs are another great fly for the river, I have literally used these great little flies for everything from Nymphing to Streamers, they swing great too. Of course the good 'ol Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails (also both patterns in a "flash back" model) are great flies for the river.

Wet flies are some other good Springtime patterns. Soft Hackle models in Partidge and Orange, Caddis green, Red butt, and some purples can work real well when the fish just will not rise to a hatch. Believe it or not but this can almost be as fun as throwing the dries themselves. Don't forget Cracklebacks, the best Wet\Dry pattern of all time (Feather Craft of St. Louis)Here's to Spring.....BRING IT ON!

Brian

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I've always done well fishing copper johns as well. I always fish mine under an indicator. Not sure if that is the best way to fish them or not? Always seem to catch fish on them, so whatever works I guess! :D When you fish the pheasant tail do you cast them out and strip them back or do you use an indicator? I've tried fishing them both ways, but have never had any luck either way on them. I'm hoping to make it down to the river sometime this year, but only time will tell. Have a little one on the way (1st), so we have to wait and see what momma says! :P

Thanks Again

"He told us about Christ's disciples being fisherman, and we were left to assume...that all great fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fisherman and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman." - Norman Maclean-A River Runs Through It

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Hey Captain,

I have never "slayed" them on a PT. It seems to me a PT is more of a "save the day" fly, at least that is what I usually run in to. Always drifting them either with or without an indicator.

Congratulations! I understand what you are talking about when you say see what "momma" says, I have an 8 month old....they are WAY fun man!

Brian

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Yeah, I can't wait to have the little one around. Hoping for a boy, but any healthy baby would be fine by me. I hope to get momma down to the farm sometime this spring or early summer. I would probably get in trouble though wanting to fish all the time and not spending enough time with her. Have to save my dad for that trip! :P Oh well, I will have to try out a few other nymphs to get them down before I head down that way though.

"He told us about Christ's disciples being fisherman, and we were left to assume...that all great fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fisherman and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman." - Norman Maclean-A River Runs Through It

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Ksgbrlbl.jpg

The Kauffman is probably the #1 stonefly for the river. I don't make mine quite as fat as Kauffman's tiers do though.

DSC05250.JPG

This is a "20 incher" stone that I have been fishing a little and it is keeping up with the Kauffman.

I am still in the process of finding THE stonefly that will fill my box. I don't want to spend 15 minutes tying them but I still want them to "look" good. I'm sure it'll be a never-ending process..... :wacko:

Brian

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Thanks for the patterns Brian. Do you notice any lighter colored stones on the river, maybe a blonde? Heres a link to a woven stone that i thought was interesting.

http://www.hatchesmagazine.com/page/february2006/94

post-210-1140817684.jpg

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Last year we had more goldens in the lower part of the river (lower B.R. Section and upper R.R section)than I ever remember seeing. So the answer would be a definite yes. We have "pure" black, brown, and the goldens, that pattern would catch fish...I have a few woven stones in my fly box right now. They sure are fun to tie but when you need to sit down and bust out a dozen it can take it's toll.

Brian

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