While practicing some spey casting today on the South Thompson River I saw a pretty good chironomid hatch. These early emergences definitely indicate that spring is not far off. The southern interior regions of the province are experiencing an incredibly mild winter with very minimal snowpack levels in the mid to lower elevations. A few of the low lying grassland lakes around Kamloops are already showing open water along the lake edges and the ice is getting darker by the day. We may be lake fishing by early March. Remember that those lakes previously closed to fishing until April 1 or May 1 now have a “ no ice fishing” regulation on them so they are fishable as soon as the ice is off, regardless of date.
So, if you have not started, it is time to replenish those stillwater fly boxes. Go to early spring patterns include leeches in black, maroon, dark olive green and they should be tied in “micro” sizes as well. I like to tie leech patterns with gold or copper bead heads as that extra weight and flash seems to be a good combination during early spring fishing. Even though chironomids may not be coming off at ice off the trout seem to still like eating them so make sure you have a good selection of black and red wire or red holographic tinsel ribbed pupa in sizes 10 to 14. tie them on Scud/Pupa hooks like the Mustad Signature C49S and use a super white bead for the head to make them stand out. Small water boatman patterns also can be effective at ice off so make sure you have some tied up on #14 hooks.
Make sure to put new leaders on all your fly lines and add cleaner/lubricant to the floater. We will be fishing sooner than you think, see you on the water