Hook, line and sinker: April 9, 2013

The first week of the trout fishing season was a successful one for trout fishers, and the prospect of a good fishing season looks promising. Despite chilly temperatures this past week there have been a number of trout anglers fishing the rivers and streams, as well as casting from shore on the Pepacton Reservoir.

It will still be a while before boats are allowed on the reservoir, as the upper end is still covered with ice. In fact, on a drive over the Barkaboom Road this past week, Big Pond and a few other small lakes appeared to be covered with ice thick enough to fish on.

Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported good opening-week fishing, and said that there have been reports of great catch-and-release “no-kill” bass fishing during the end of March. Evidently the State of New York DEC now allows catch-and-release bass fishing year-round, and a few bass fishermen boasted of catching 15 to 20 bass per day using Krocodile lures.

The largest trout brought into Al’s on opening day was a 29-inch, eight-pound brown, caught by Jack MacDowalt, of Hancock. Jack was casting a Krocodile from shore to catch his fish.

An interesting catch of two Tiger trout, measuring 23 inches and 17 inches were taken by Bob Yenik, of Binghamton, fishing the East Branch over near Mill Brook. Bob was also successful using a Krocodile.

Getting some action
Kastmasters have been working well, as have “Rat-L-Trap” plugs, which come in many colors and sizes. The most popular of these lipless plugs have been silver, as well as silver with a chartreuse stripe. A party of 10 fishermen reported catching 28 trout on Rat-L-Traps; and using a silver and blue lure, another fisherman bagged an eight-pound brown that measured 25 inches in length.
Al was encouraged by the condition of the fish coming out of the Pepacton, stating that he hasn’t seen a lot of big fish, but is seeing trout in good numbers that are “really fat fish, healthy and fat.”

This is extremely encouraging, especially after last year’s complaints of skinny reservoir fish.
Fishing in the East Branch has been productive. Young Kenny Corbett was angling with mealworms when he took a five-pound, 11-ounce brown trout that measured 23 inches; another angler landed a beautiful 18-inch trout that Al believes was a healthy holdover from the 15-inch fish he stocked in the pool last season.

Dave Budin of Del Sports in Margaretville also reported favorably on the first week of the trout season, noting that “the kids been doing well on worms and spinners, although the water is still chilly.”

Dave was happy to tell about young Curtis Roberts’ success this week – while fishing in the East Branch up along Route 30, Curtis managed to catch a beauty of a brown that measured 24 inches on the second day of the season.

Another nice one
Then, while fishing on Saturday near the bridge in the village, he was again successful using a blue fox copper-colored spinner, and bagged a nice brown that measured 18 inches. Other youngsters have been catching trout all week fishing through town.

It’s still a bit chilly to expect much fly activity. A few dark Caddis flies have been hatching sporadically, but the wind over the weekend prevented much success. Dave went out to try his luck on Sunday to no avail. He said it was probably that old fisherman’s adage that says, “when the wind is from the east, the fishing’s not fit for man nor beast. When the wind is from the west, that the fishing is the very best.”