The fish have had a couple of more weeks to rest before the onslaught of the fishermen attack. The cold weather has kept most fishermen off the stream, but a few hardy souls have managed to take a few big fish.The rivers are low right now, but they will rise quickly once we get some warm days and nights. There is still lots of snow on the mountains — some four to five feet in some areas.As it melts and sinks into the ground, it keeps the water tables at good levels and thus ensures some good river conditions well into the season. Although the season is a little late getting under way, the rivers will remain at those productive levels for a longer period than normal.You can expect some hatches of sedges coming off the slower sections of streams this coming week and the ice in many of the ponds should be breaking up in another week providing we don't get another freeze. Right now, your best patterns will be streamers, cone head crystal buggers and bead head Picket Finns.There are a couple reports of a few Salmon being taken in the lower sections of the Saranac, by the Monument, and below the Rt. 9N bridge on the Ausable. No reports of fish taken on the Bouquet yet but that doesn't mean there hasn't been.The rule again for taking fish when the water is ice cold is to fish deep along the bottom and move your bait or flies slowly. Enclosed is a picture of an 18-inch trout taken from the Flume Pool by Brian Cadarec. It had the leg of a frog sticking out of its mouth. Even the fish knows that frog legs are a delicacy.The Department of Conservation will probably begin stocking many of the streams within the next couple weeks. Last year, they stocked a lot of trout in the 16 to 20 inch range and are expected to do the same this year. I will keep you posted on the stocking program as it is released.The past few seasons, they have done a remarkable job of keeping the streams stocked with nice sized fish, and the weather conditions throughout the summer provided excellent stream conditions. That translated to one of the best seasons in the past twenty for large trout production and great fishing. We should hear no complaints again this year.Fran Betters is a fishing and fly-tying legend on the West Branch of the Ausable River. He and his wife, Jan, run the Evening Hatch and Adirondack Sport Shop on Route 86 in Wilmington.
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