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Original Issue


A digest of last-minute reports from fishermen and other unreliable sources


SO=season opened (or opens); SC=season closed (or closes); SV=season varies by district or water.
C=clear water; D=water dirty or roily; M=water muddy.
N=water at normal height; SH= slightly high; H=high; VH=very high; L=low; R=rising; F=falling.
WT50=water temperature 50°.
FG=fishing good; FF=fishing fair; FP=fishing poor.
OG=outlook good; OP=outlook poor.

TROUT: NEW YORK: Season is off to a slow start, with cold water the villain—southern New York streams report WT in low 40s. Even bait and spin fishermen did poorly on Beaver-kill last weekend, but if no new rains come the river may be wadeable with WT above 50 by midday and some fair fly hatches by the 23rd (Saturday); better check by telephone before taking off (call fly-tyers Walt Dette or Harry Darbee in Roscoe for water and weather information). Three straight days of warm, sunny weather could start fish moving in all Catskill streams, but no really good trouting can be counted on before second week in May. Ausable, Saranac, Chazy and other Adirondack streams are still too high and cold for non-compulsive anglers.

CONNECTICUT: Housatonic River is H, D, WT38-48 and not yet worth risking. A few newly stocked browns were yanked from Norwalk River on No. 12 grayish nymphs last weekend and fly fishermen seemed to fare better than wormers; OF/G in smaller Connecticut streams for wet fly or small streamer.

NEW JERSEY: SO April 16 with usual mob scenes on Musconetcong and other opening-day stand-bys; OP/F on all New Jersey streams through next week, with Pequest probably best for fly fishers.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Cold, showery weather and fairly high water haven't interfered with good fishing in island and coastal lakes; on Vancouver Island, Gooseneck and Snakehead lakes were yielding limits of small fish last week, with several three-pounders succumbing to hardware in Lower Campbell and McIvor (but fish were coming to fly also). Cowichan, Campbell, Oyster and Qualicums rivers are producing a few nice trout and should improve; OG.

MAINE: Hottest fishing in Maine last week was at Long Pond, Mount Desert Island, where squaretails were averaging two pounds with top fish 3½ OG.

CALIFORNIA: SO April 16 in San Diego County, mainly for hatchery trout in a few small streams and ponds; statewide SO April 30 with heavy plants and carry-over in larger streams and lakes to insure worthwhile fishing. Crowley Lake, now ice-free, should be No. 1 spot for big trout, with June, Grant and Silver lakes runners-up. Best east-slope Sierra streams should be Owens River and Hot Creek. With snow-pack below normal, outlook is good.

BLACK BASS: FLORIDA: in NW Florida water levels were higher after last week's rain and outlook is excellent; best bets are sand ponds N of Panama City and Wimico Lake near Apalachicola, with spoon and pork-rind lures accounting for most big bass (but fly-rodders should have fine sport with popping bugs). In central Florida, bass are taking top-water plugs, bugs and spoons with enthusiasm; Kissimmee River and lakes E of Lake Wales and in Leesburg area are producing limit catches with most bass in two-pound class, and OG through next two weeks. St. Johns River spy advises weedless spoons with pork rind fished alongside weed beds on lee shore at sunup, from Lake Helen area to Lost Lake, and predicts peak at top of new moon April 22; could be.

MISSOURI: Outlook is excellent at Lake of the Ozarks (Gravois Arm area) with local talent favoring crayfish over artificial lures; many limits reported.

CALIFORNIA: Big bass news of last week was 11½-pounder from Irvine Lake, a small reservoir near Orange, Calif. Lower Colorado River reservoirs were still producing frequent limits, with Mohave the best of the lot, and OG.

ATLANTIC SALMON: NEW BRUNSWICK: Ice went out of most rivers in the province last week, including Miramichi, but northwest was still ice-bound last Sunday. Most rivers C, N, with black salmon in Cains and southwest Miramichi taking streamers and black-and-white bucktails hungrily.

MAINE: At press time no real indications of spring run of bright fish had appeared in any major Maine salmon river (although a few blacks have been taken in the Sheepscot and Pleasant rivers).

LANDLOCKED SALMON: MAINE: Sebago, Green, Branch and Tunk lakes are ice-free and producing fine sport; Moosehead and the Rangeleys will probably remain ice-bound until early or mid-May but the Belgrade chain is clearing fast.

CATFISH: TENNESSEE: 102-pound catfish caught from Norris Lake last Saturday drew a fine crowd when displayed across the border at Middlesboro, Ky. that evening.

STRIPED BASS: NORTH CAROLINA: OG in Roanoke and Croatan sounds in Manteo and Wanchese areas as stripers are still schooling and plentiful.

CALIFORNIA: Fish are plentiful in Delta waters but winds make fishing difficult; OG when wind dies.

KINGFISH: FLORIDA: With no sign of a letup the big run of kings continued along the west-central coast; charter boats report catches as high as 179 fish in one trip, with weights from eight to 15 pounds. Most of the heavy kills are made four or five miles outside of the Tampa harbor channel entrance and directly off the Pinellas Keys; outlook is terrific through next week.

CHANNEL BASS: NORTH CAROLINA: Outlook is excellent for bass in inlets and surf between Kitty Hawk and Ocracoke Inlet, especially Oregon and Hatteras inlets and Cape Hatteras surf, through May. Last week hundreds of bass from 35 to 48 pounds were taken by trollers in major inlets, with No. 7 spoons and feather jigs most favored lures.