Early Rise Outfitters Fishing Report : 5/26
I hope that you are having as much fun fishing this Spring as Early Rise Outfitters is! We have been on the water guiding and fishing more days than not since early April, and have really been getting some great fish lately. This is the time of year that we all dream about during the long cold winter. You have your choice of fish to target right now: striped bass, bluefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike, trout, shad, and a variety of panfish are all being caught with regularity, and increasing in size weekly.
We have spent more time chasing stripers lately than anything else, helping some clients get their first ever on the fly, and others land their personal best on the fly. The fish have solidly moved into the New England region, with some very big fish being taken early in the season. I have excitedly witnessed large schools of bunker and herring being chased by stripers and blues close in to shore in a fly fisherman’s dream scenario. Short casts and long runs are the name of the game when you hook into a big striper or bluefish. If you are targeting these species, there are few places as hot right now as the southern shore of Cape Cod. Large schools of bait are leaving the rivers and ponds, and the big fish have moved in to meet them. Any clouser or similar baitfish streamer pattern will work, with larger flies helping to coax bites from larger fish.
If you are looking for freshwater action, there are even more options. Most annual trout stocking is complete for the year, and with the return of saltwater species to our local waters, many of the best trout rivers are currently less crowded than usual. This is also a time of year that there is a wide variety of insect nymphs in the water, allowing a larger selection of flies to be effective. Take the time to flip a few rocks and inspect the weed beds of your favorite river to match the hatch. Caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, dragonfly nymphs, damselflies, cranefly larva, caterpillars and a few others make up the largest offerings you will find. Don’t be afraid to throw big flies in search of the active fish in a location. On numerous occasions I have found that picky fish can be convinced into biting a fly when the potential meal is too good to pass up. This means throwing bigger patterns than you normally would, and ensuring that your presentation is perfect. I like to describe it as being similar to eating every meal at a salad bar, and suddenly someone comes running in with a steak. A decision needs to be made, and it needs to happen quickly. Most of the time, there will be a fish that is hungry enough to jump at the opportunity.
Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are also at a point in their annual cycle where some of the largest fish will be caught. The warming water of Spring brings the largest individuals of both species into the shallows to find a mate and compete the spawning process. During this short window these fish can be successfully caught by targeting areas where you see their light-colored circular spawning beds. There is no other time of the year where anglers can have such a large impact on future generations of fish as now. Please be sure to practice responsible catch and release whenever possible. During the time you are fighting the fish, it is possible that sunfish and other nest-raiding species can move in and devour the bass’ eggs. Try and return your catch to the same spot that you caught it from whenever possible.
Thanks for reading, be sure to check back for more updates. Stay safe out there, and tight-lines!