Usually during March, we see signs of springtime. Upper mountain flowers will start to bloom like the Lady’s slippers which is a member of the orchid family, etc. Streams and rivers will continue to rise with the occasional rains being received. And finally, warmer days to come will surely start bringing some trout up to the surface for a quick snack which makes for great trout fishing. We’re looking for an outstanding spring this year and a bunch of hook ups!
Some things to work on before your first outing is casting practice. Many folks put their rods up at the end of the fall. Never seeing them until the day that they hit the mountains to tempt some trout. It’s best to practice some before heading up. Work on your roll cast and some water haul casts, and stay in tune with your rod. Work on precision casting. We take thousands of anglers each year, and I can personally tell you that those who are ready to fish (good casters or those that practice their casting) catch more fish.
Use your lawn as a casting area if possible. This allows you to make casting practice easy and simple without distractions like excessive trees or fish. Use a few markers on the lawn for target and precision casting. Also, pay attention to your fly line during its flight. Make small adjustments to regain tight loops on your forward and back cast. Many times, we see improper Stops which opens your loops and destroys your cast’s momentum. Remember, many streams are tight and false casting can be very limited. Keep slack to a bare bones minimum. We see many people trying to cast slack which kills their cast. It’s probably the number one cause of a bad cast.
Some casting should be done on a windy day. This helps your fly placement under harsh conditions. Guides can never guarantee the type of weather you will have on your trip. We usually see plenty of windy days February through April. So, be prepared for these types of days on the water. You’ll be ahead of the game!
Another great option is going to someone like a certified casting instructor to oversee your casting. Shy away from anyone without schooling or being IFFF certified. A friend may have good intentions but may not be able to see your faults or explain how to correct them. A good casting instructor can watch you for a few minutes then dissect your cast and its faults. This can save you time and in the long run wasted money. It’s hard to break bad habits without correct repetitions and a good eye watching. Instructors can also show you how to make some of those new casts you might be wanting to try.
After you have freshened up on your casting, don’t forget to clean up your rod. Be sure to put wax on the male ferrules. This will help with putting the rod sections together and taking them apart more easily. You can use some fine or extra fine sand paper to clean up the soiled handle if you like. Clean that abused reel up as well. At the beginning of the spring and fall seasons, we go through our reels thoroughly with Q-tips and fresh grease. Be sure to remove all grit or sand particles before greasing. You might be surprised at how much better it will function, especially the drag. Many times, you can bring that old fly line back to life after washing it and apply a fly line conditioner. A clean and slick fly line resists friction from the rod guides, will shoot further, and it stays in better condition to prevent sinking (if it’s a floating fly line).
March brings out some mayflies like the Quills. The Blue and Gordon are two of the earliest and they may draw a few trout up to the surface for takes. The Quill Gordon is a much larger than the Blue Quill. But, the Blue usually hatches in bigger numbers. Gordons should be size 10-12 and Blues should be size 18-20. Stay with standard fare on subsurface flies like stoneflies, prince’s, PT’s and hares ear in sizes from 14-18. Water is still cold so using some weight will get those flies on down toward the bottom.
Written by Reel’em In Guide Service
Reel ‘Em In Guide Service is the only Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide in North Georgia’s Historic High-Country region. They have been offering their services to fly anglers since 2001. They have permits for guiding in North Georgia and North Carolina, offer over 7 miles of private trophy waters across Georgia, and operate float trips on the Toccoa River in GA and the Tuckasegee River in NC.