Westward Winter Storm, Upper Valley Pike
small study by Clint Bova, oil on 5"x7" wood panel
In the very early spring keeping it simple is a lesson I've learned over the years when it comes to both prospecting and sight fishing. If your lucky by midday when the sun is straight above your head a fish or two may rise to a midge. The Stonefly has not even shown itself yet. The water has a deciduous odor from melting ice that has mingled with the top layer of last years muck of fall leaves. The water column has a grainy pattern running through it and the occasional tree branch tumbles by you with a small winged insect clamoring to it for dear life. I'm convinced that midges can show themselves at the worst of times at any time of the season. They are kind of like U.S. Army Rangers, they show up before all the action, and remain steadfast when the battle has already been finished. The midges in my fly box are no more than baby finger nail sized morsels that are more often than not black. Remember midges do not have tails! They have an extended abdomen and that's it. Simplify what you see and it will pay dividends with the most weary cold weather trout. If you are fishing for surface feeders you probably do not even need to bring a fly box with you to the river. Just grab a pill container and put a half dozen midges in it. The simple fly for the time of year where simpler is always better.
~Clint Joseph Bova