Opening day has lost some appeal
While the opening day of the general trout season has lost some of its appeal now that anglers can access a good part of the Truckee River during the winter months, there is still a fair amount of excitement for the new season.
Saturday marks the big day, signaling the beginning of trout fishing for most.
As a result, there is a genuine excitement about fishing for the first time since the season closed on Nov. 15 ” even though anglers are now allowed to fish from Trout Creek to the Nevada state line and Little Truckee River between Stampede and Boca reservoirs. This is a zero-kill period in which an angler must use artificial barbless hooks only.
With the new regulations, combined with the fact that many lakes are open year-round, the water that is opening up is really not as significant as it used to be.
Accessibility is probably the foremost difference in fishing during the regular season. During the winter months, many lakes are frozen and the streams are difficult to get to. Typically, during the opener for the general season, most roadside waters are easily accessed.
This opening day would seem to have all the elements of a typical opener. With a snowpack this year that is measuring over the average, expect to see some runoff.
Last year we had virtually zero runoff, and as a result the Truckee River never fished better in the months of April and May.
Expect to see conditions quite a bit different than last year due to the influx of cooler water from the snowmelt. The hatches we saw early last season probably won’t be that apparent, and the fish will not be chasing the insects with the same intensity that they had early last year.
Anglers should concentrate their efforts in moving waters in the early- to mid-morning hours, prior to the runoff that turns the water off-color. Keep an eye on the weather. Cooler weather means you can fish longer since the runoff will be delayed or sometimes even non existent that day.
Also fish the lakes. Most have been ice free for several weeks and should provide anglers with fish that are very hungry.
Opening days are not about catching a lot of fish, but rather the opportunity to begin fishing the old haunts for the first time when you don’t have to worry how to get to the water. It is also a time to reconnect with angling friends who you have not seen for quite some time.
In short, opening day is a tradition to most people who fish. It signals the beginning of a new season filled with anticipation.
While the last Saturday in April has lost much of its significance, it is still an important date for most trout fishermen!
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