Happy Opening Day

     By now most of us are glad to see the snow rapidly disappearing and have had our fishing gear ready for days, if not weeks. I will confess I am a bit behind and have yet to check my leaders and sort out my fly boxes, but no worries. Even if I don’t get out to fish today, I have plenty of time. Conditions should be good for today and the upcoming week. The water in the Battenkill looked pretty good from the Union St. bridge in Manchester. Definitely high and a bit fast, but only slightly off-color. There is still  snow in the Green Mountains and the Taconics which should help keep the streams cold for the next few weeks or so, depending on temperatures and sunshine. The forecast for today predicts a high near 65 and partial sun, so it should be enjoyable.
     If your pre-season preparations did not include checking your waders for leaks you may be in for a surprise. A few years ago I spent a very unpleasant opening morning shivering in my waders on account of several small leaks. I’m not sure what the air temperature was, but when the guides on your rod are icing up you know it’s cold, and my guides were freezing up every other cast. The water temperature wasn’t much better. After 2 hours of forcing myself to fish I had to call it quits, and had I not been wearing neoprene I doubt I would have lasted that long. I was totally soaked from the waist down by the time I climbed out of the stream. Fortunately I had taken this possibility into account and had dry pants, socks and underwear in the car. Getting changed on the side of the road using the car, with doors opened and strategically positioned for cover, was a bit awkward. The situation didn’t improve when a truck pulled up behind and a young man and woman got out. Luckily they were single-minded in their inspection of the river. By the time they returned to their vehicle I was fully clothed and we had a brief conversation. Needles to say, I will make certain I don’t end up in this situation again.
     Good luck!

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