Hi Folks, My open water guiding season has begun in earnest early this year. Nice April weather has allowed me to get after the fish. I have been running my 16’ Grumman lake fishing for Northern Pike and Pre-Spawn Bass. Surface water temperatures have ranged from 51 to 55 degrees. I am fishing fairly shallow warm water bodies of water. I have not river fished as of yet. The rivers around me are still a bit high from snow run off and more importantly, cold! Looks like good rain for the next few days. We could use it. My focus has been shallow water. Finding the warmest water in the lakes and ponds. Wind is a factor in April and heavy wind pushes water water around can impact where the fish will be holding.  Yesterday the wind blew from the South/Southeast while on my previous outing it blew steadily from the Northwest. We have casting a variety of fly patterns. I can’t say that we have found one consistent pattern thus far. However, brighter colored patterns, white, and fire tiger have worked. We have been casting into dirty colored water. Letting the fly settle towards the bottom and working it in long slow strips has drawn strikes. Water is still pretty cold, the fish do not want to work too hard. I have been launching the boat in the afternoon. Letting the water warm after a cool night in order to crank everything up. We have focused in less than 10’ of water in and around cattail laden shorelines. Lots of casting in order to prompt a big northern to eat. Landed a 35” post spawn female yesterday. You could see wounds on her flanks from being nipped by her male partner during the rigors of the spawn. The pike fishing and pre spawn bass fishing should only improve.  Northern Pike are in post spawn mode and putting on the feed bag while the bass are just beginning to move into pre-spawn mode.
The fishing is only improving on a daily business. May and June are great  months to be on the water. Remember to clean your gear and keep the non-native species at home. Have Fun, Willy