After the warmest winter and spring in recent memory, the stage was set for an epic fishing season. What few snowflakes flew in March and April were replaced with mayflies, and as they are apt to do, the trout didn't take long to notice. As fate would have it, the ebbs and flows of a typical steelhead season seemed to go a bit differently this year, and for the first time in many years, I found myself doing quite a bit of "true trout" fishing during the most wonderful time of the year to be a trout fisherman east of the Mississippi.
Looking back at a fishing season it's always difficult to ascertain whether or not it was successful. Is the appropriate metric that should be used days on the water? Places fished? Mileage on the truck? Or whether or not you caught the damn things? The answer is wonderfully unclear, and also, to be honest, is usually different every day.
Still, regardless of the reasons why I spent time on the water over the past few months, the unquestionable fact was that I was lucky. From the day in March when I saw the first Hendrickson of the spring flutter past, all the way to this holiday weekend I've been fishing like wild. Looking back at the past few months, I spent more time with a rod in my hand this eastern trout season than any other in the past 7 or 8 years, and that is a very comforting thought.
I managed to celebrate the Easter holiday with a couple friends in pursuit of trout on one of the most storied tailwaters of the eastern United States, make an annual trip with my entire group of fishing friends to a destination that is steadily becoming a favorite, and made countless trips and overnights in between. No matter where I've stopped, it seems like the trout have been better to me than I've deserved - and for that, I'm always grateful.
And now that spring has certainly faded into summer (both in terms of calendar and temperature) the only certainty I have is where I'll spend my time. Knee deep, in the fast water, just casting and fishing, seeing if I can catch a rise. See you out there.
-Brett McCrae, SAO Guide