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The Chateaugay Fish Hatchery, along with the Chateaugay Fish and Game Club, stocked 2,900 brown trout in the Little Trout River near Burke on April 9

This past week we were all handed another lesson in humility from Mother Nature.

How dare we think that spring was coming last week. Mother Nature reminded us that she didn't invent the calendar, but we humans did. Anyhow, we hope she will take pity on her tenants and give us some real spring weather soon.

The poor fish will be looking to have their first good feast on mayflies in a couple of weeks and I am sure she won't disappoint them with another display of power. At least this weekend we have gotten the spring-like weather that mid-April promises.

The past couple of days, the rivers have risen with the melting snow, and a few of the fishermen taking advantage of the good days managed to take some big trout on nymphs and streamers. The ponds and lakes are honey-coned with black ice and should be open by the end of the coming week. That's when you should be out there taking advantage of the fish that will be along the surface.

Last week, a gentleman brought in a copy of the new Field and Stream magazine and one of the articles was a pleasant surprise. One writer had chosen the top 32 most productive flies and had them tested over a period of time to see which ones proved most effective. It was an honor to find that three of my original patterns were in the top five flies.

I was somewhat surprised to note that my trusted AuSable Wulff was beaten out by my Usual pattern. After some thought, I realized why. I developed the AuSable Wulff pattern to fish pocket water and the fast tumbling water of the rivers. The Usual was developed a few years later to fish the slower water and pools and was a great imitation for the caddis insects. I realized that other streams did not have the vast amounts of fast water and pockets so it stood to reason the Usual would be most productive on those streams.

Anyhow, I can again remind those who favor my two best-known patterns to remember what those patterns were meant to achieve. The AuSable Wulff will always be the winner when fishing the faster sections of a river and in the pockets. It's high visibility gets the trout's attention there while the Usual would not be as visible.

The Usual, on the other hand, is a great imitation for caddis and when fished in the slower water or pools and pulled under, it will pop back to the surface to imitate an emerger. Depending on what type of water you are fishing will determine the winner. Incidentally, my Haystack pattern came in fourth. I am sure that those who claim they fish nothing but Haystacks will take issue with the results, but nearly everyone has a favorite fly they claim to be the best. The Haystack pattern, incidentally, was a pattern I created back in 1949 while in high school. It was later copied a number of years later and called the Compara-dun. Anyhow, look for some good fishing days coming up and watch the ponds for ice out.

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