Its about a month earlier than normal, but the ice is starting to melt off the local public ponds.
Its time to get ready or BE ready to flyfish at any moment.
My buddy Jay shared with me that a recent issue of one great fishing magazine, In-Fisherman, recommended the use of a small hair jig under a bobber for catching early season Largemouth Bass.
I hadn't really associated the two before, but its basically the same fly rod technique (microjig - indicator) I use early season for everything....bass, crappies, bluegills, etc. I tie my own, many colors, but ALWAYS have plenty of Chartreuse on hand! I use 1/80th oz jigheads, with #8 hooks (or #10, but I like the #8's better if I can find them).
I don't target bass with this method, but I do catch them. One of the first bass I caught last year was 18.75", caught in this manner.
The beauty is in the slow movement of an apparent easy "meal"...the water is cold the fish's metabolism is still somewhat slow, they aren't super-aggressive yet. But icefishing has shown us that many warmwater fish never really stop eating during the winter...and sometimes they are downright FEROCIOUS beneath the ice! So...I've learned to temper my mindset of what the activity of early-season fish really looks like.
Now, this technique doesn't just work early season...it can and does work all year. Even for nice bass. I caught plenty of nice bass with this technique last year, while targeting bluegills, crappies and other sunfish. Of the 11 Largemouth Bass 18"-20" I caught on flies last year, I think 4 of them hit a little microjig under an indicator. It always surprises me when it happens. Its such a small morsel for a big-mouthed fish....its seems like a marlin eating plankton.
But anyway, this is a great early season flyfishing technique for MANY early-season warmwater fish. If you haven't tried it yet, give it a shot soon! :)