Even though the peak angling period for rainbow trout, smallmouths and stripers is yet to come, some fishermen are calling this one of the best seasons they’ve ever seen. An angler survey and a telephone call to my favourite angling info hotspot – Ed’s Tackle Shop in Coldbrook – reveals that most trout fishermen are having excellent seasons while smallmouth anglers found that fishing is as good as last year.
As will be seen from the anglers I’ve quoted below, it’s mostly the trout fishermen who report that fishing has been outstanding. Not all anglers agree that trout fishing has been that good, however, and some of these fishermen are quoted below as well. The so-called earlier season, when mid-May fishing conditions occurred in late April, fooled some anglers completely. A number of anglers told me that they simply missed the best trout fishing period. “I was tricked by the weather,” one angler said, which sums up what happened to fishermen who weren’t watching water conditions closely through April.
Anglers who were out on the lakes, stillwaters, and streams early report that brook and brown trout fishing was excellent. This is the message Ed Ward received from the numerous anglers who dropped into his shop this spring. Several anglers told Ward that trout fishing was the best they’re ever experienced. “The best yet,” is how one fisherman described spring angling.
“It hasn’t been too bad a season,” agrees Coldbrook angler Hughie Graves. An avid fly fisherman who angles on the Cornwallis River on a regular basis, Graves told me the fishing was good during the Mayfly hatches but slowed down some when water levels dropped.
Like Graves, I enjoyed good fishing on the Cornwallis during the hatches. The brook trout fishing on the Cornwallis this spring was unusually good, in fact, the best I’ve experienced in several decades of fishing the river. The recent cold, damp spell killed the hatches somewhat and the best of the brook trout fishing is probably over on the Cornwallis for the year. Once July’s muggy weather arrives, however, the evening hatches will be on and brown trout fishing should be good.
Jimmy George, a tournament organizer and smallmouth devotee from the Waterville area tells me bass fishing was good in May, but the tempo slowed down in June. George said that everything (meaning water levels, water temperature and general fishing conditions) was early by a good two weeks this year. He described the smallmouth fishing to date as average, or perhaps typical for the early part of the season when bassing is often slow anyway.
I mentioned that while most anglers told me fishing was good, there were mixed reports. Here’s a sampling of what was said by some of the anglers I surveyed:
“Trout and smallmouth fishing has been pretty good this spring. However, I’m discouraged by how the Cornwallis River is going downhill over the years.” – Ludie Gallant, Coldbrook.
“Trout fishing has been excellent. I’ve had a good year on trout but smallmouth fishing is only fair.” – Tom Keddy, New Minas.
“It hasn’t been a good (trout) season for me. The season was too far advanced by the time I wet a line and I missed the best fishing period.” – Carl Coleman, Upper Dyke.
Several other anglers besides Coleman also told me the early spring fouled up their trout fishing. “The weather fooled me and I missed the prime spring fishing time,” which, in effect, was what these anglers said.