Just a small report on what to expect on this coming week leading into the Memorial Day Weekend at Crowley.
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was initiated to honor the soldiers for the Union and Confederate armies who died during the American Civil War.
Celebrations honoring Civil War heroes started the year after the war ended. The establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the celebration as a national day of remembrance instead of a holiday celebrated separately by the Union and Confederate states. By the late 19th century, the holiday became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday.
The original national celebration of Decoration Day took place on 30 May 1868. When Memorial Day became a federal holiday, it was given the floating date of the last Monday in May. Since many companies close for the holiday, Memorial Day weekend is three days long for most people. It is the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season that lasts until the first Monday in September, which is Labor Day.
Right now at Crowley the trout fishing is going strong and it feels like a holiday every time out on the water. We have been having great success on our guided trips, and trips in the afternoon after our guided trips have ended. I have personally landed last weekend well over 50 fish in the afternoon bite we now have at Crowley.
The guided trips on Saturday and Sunday went very well also as you can see, What a pleasure it was to guide new clients to Crowley, “The twins”, Krystel and Kathryn Villamor along with Mike Cruz. The ladies caught on fast, fishing chironomids in 15 to 20 feet of water with many beautiful browns and cutthroats to the net. We also had many double hookups between the group that made for some exciting moments for me and my clients.
The chironomid hatches are excellent right now and are really triggering the fish into some nice long feeding frenzy periods that can last up to a few hours of non stop action. We have also witnessed some nice stillwater calibates hatches, this is a much larger bug than the chironomid and seems to be a much more tasty morsal for the trout. Try to imitate the larva with a flashback pheasant tail or a haresear nymph when you see the adults hatching off the top of the water. You can also find them by looking well above the midge hatches that are flying around just above your head. The calibates are much stronger fliers than the midges and will suspend much higher above the midges so you can easily find them if you just look higher up in the sky.
Water temps are still about the same, 55 to 57 degrees, the weather in the mornings have been very cold with ice all over the boats and the docks. Once the ice has melted around 9am the midges are very active and the bite will begin. We are fishing all over the lake, the fish are spread out at many different areas but the common dominator is fishing the steep drop off areas. You can find fish at Six Bays, Leighton Springs – Aligator Point, Sandy Point, Pelican Point in Big Hilton, anywhere on the lake you have steep drop offs from shallow to deep water. My favorite depth is fishing 16 to 20 feet however, fish are being found all the way into 12 feet of water so don’t be afraid to fish in shallow, especially in the early morning light periods before the sun gets more overhead. Chironomids in Black/Silver, Black/Red, Black/Copper have been very well received by the fish and don’t be afraid to fish different colors as well. Sizes in 14 to 16 are working well and the PT’s in size 16 and 18’s.
The wind is always a factor at Crowley, be very careful with the wind especially if your not in a larger boat. If you see high winds coming, try to make it into some sheltered areas in the bays or coves and wait for the wind to stop. You will always be able to find fish in these sheltered areas and don’t try to take on the large waves going back across the channel.
I will again be availalbe all weekend if you would like to book a guided trip and get a full lesson on fishing chironomids at Crowley Lake. You can go out and fish the same way over and over but you will learn more from one guided trip out on the lake than you can in dozens of trips out on the lake by yourself!
My Hardy Zephrus Rods and Hardy Ultralite 4000 and 5000 CA DD reels have been slaying the fish at Crowley
Good Luck anglers, be safe and have a great Memorial Day weekend!
I do love me some Stillwater Fly Fishing……Ernie