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John Clousser holds up a 6-pound salmon he caught in the lower Ausable River earlier this month

This past week the water temperatures in the rivers hovered in the mid 40s to low 50s.

This is on the borderline for fish activity on the surface. The hatches of Hendrickson may often be coming off the water when the trout's metabolism is still slowed in the colder water. This results in the trout's failure to rise to the hatches on the surface. Or it just may be the trout are getting plenty of feed on the nymphs and emergers beneath. If your dry flies aren't bringing the fish up, don't despair, switch to a nymph or a bead head emerger and take fish below the surface.

That was the case for the early part of the week. There were great hatches coming off in the afternoon hours, but very little activity on the surface. It can be quite frustrating to see thousands of insects hatching and no trout rising. An experienced fisherman will see this many times and understand what makes a fish feed. It's a combination of available food along with the correct temperature that makes the fish active.

There is plenty of snow in the high peaks so the water temperatures will remain cooler than normal for a few more days. Fish with bead heads, small streamers and stone fly nymphs until the water warms enough to get the fish active. When the water temperature reaches the mid 50s, you will find the trout rising more readily to dries.

The good news is that the fish are still active on the surface in the ponds and lakes. Lake trout, Landlocked Salmon, and Rainbows were being taken this past week on Taylor pond, Moose Pond and Lake Colby to name a few. If you are a beginner fly fisherman or woman, remember, we give free fly casting lessons to anyone requesting one any day you are in our area. The next free Fly Fishing Clinic is May 26th. You do not have to reserve. Just show up!

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