March has started off with a bang, as we’ve seen great number days this week with some large fish in the mix. This is THE month to be out here, so if you’ve been putting it off, now is when you want to clear some days in your schedule to spend here. Just this week I’ve found multiple fish in the 10 pound class and one at 15, all caught under an indicator using leeches. The depths fished have been varied depending on the beach and the time of day, and often in the mornings I will set my flies at 3-5 feet to target those cruisers you see breaching the top, and as the morning progresses I will drop it down to 8-9 feet, going as deep as 14 feet if the bite slows and the beach allows it. On the warmer, sunnier days we’ve been doing well on bugs, not only midges, but other attractor nymphs such as Maholo Nymphs, Spark Plugs, oversized Pheasant Tails, Worms, Etc. Sometimes these fish appreciate you throwing them a curve ball, so don’t be afraid to reach into that river box on occasion, just make sure your hook is up to the task, no light wire here!
The strip bite has also been good throughout the day, and if looking to throw your sinking line, look for long, gradual drop-offs with a sandy bottom free of tufa rock or any other obstructions. North Nets, Windless and Warrior Point are all great places to start for this method. Bringing a ladder will also be important to open up more access to these beaches and allow you to stay warmer, cast further and catch more fish. Fly selection is often much more straightforward with this method and often black Woolly Buggers, paired with white beetles will often out-fish the rest, but you can certainly mix it up and try some larger streamers, especially early mornings, or on days with large swells. Fishing a lone beetle or booby off of a 4-5 foot leader will also be very effective and can tangle less, avoiding frustration and keeping you fishing more, because the most important part about this lake is keeping your flies in the water and in front of fish.
The great thing about this time of year is the bite is pretty consistent throughout most of the day, so be sure to stay fishing and maximize the amount of time a fish has a chance of seeing your offering, as that 20-pounder can be swimming by at any point. We’ve noticed a pattern of larger fish being caught around 11-2, often after the initial morning bite dies off. Also, the evening bite has been much more hit-or-miss as of late so put a good focus on that sun-up to 4 o’clock timeframe. We do believe in the moon phases playing a role in the fishing out here, and with a slow day of fishing out here yesterday coinciding with a full moon, it’s a pattern that we’ve certainly noticed to hold true over time, but as we heard from some of the other people fishing around us when asked their thoughts on moon phase, “you can’t catch fish from the couch”, and that is very true. The bite should be back to normal in another day or two, and the biggest factor coming into next week will be wind, so keep an eye on it and if you see gusts of 25+ MPH, you may consider waiting a day or two. If you do still head out on exceptionally windy days, look at wind direction and choose a beach with the wind at your back or at least at an off angle, but expect to fish around other people, as there will typically be fewer options during this time.