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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.

TARPON: TEXAS: A few tarpon in 50-75 pound class were taken at Padre Island (off Corpus Christi) last week and jetty fishermen at Port Aransas were catching smaller ones; OG and should improve.

FLORIDA: Ten Thousand Islands area was hot spot last week and should continue to sizzle through mid-May, with most tarpon in 40-80 pound bracket.

LOUISIANA: First tarpon of season was hooked and lost in Lake Pontchartrain last week, a full month ahead of normal schedule.

TROUT: NEW YORK: Fine weather last week raised stream temperatures and started fish feeding seriously. FG, OG on Schoharie River; SH, F, WT 55-60, with scattered hatches of Hendrickson and Quill Gordon mayflies; stream should be normal now. The Esopus River was in fine shape last week with WT in high fifties and good fly hatches coming off water in mid-afternoon; one angler took 14 browns and rainbows in two hours on #12 Gordon Quill dry at Cold Brook Pool. Minnow fisherman Larry Decker landed a brown trout 30¾ inches long weighing 9½ pounds; old-timers allowed it was the biggest Esopus brownie in 46 years. With portal still shut down and stream in perfect condition the Esopus is the week's best bet.

MONTANA: On Yellowstone and Missouri rivers (open all year) fishing is excellent, with small black flies favored by most local experts, but OP as high water is due when mountain snows start to melt. Canyon Ferry Lake on Missouri River was producing many trout in 4-5 pound class on trolled spoons last week and OG to midmonth.

OREGON: As SO May 1 snow runoff slowed action; best spot was Detroit Reservoir where 3,000 anglers and over 600 boats scored heavily, with worms and salmon eggs.

PENNSYLVANIA: FP/F in most central Pennsylvania streams as levels are still SH, but spy says Kennedy Run in Perry County is a sleeper; a few big browns were taken from the Tuscarora last week on minnows and Colorado spinners; OG as stream levels subside. On First Fork, East Fork and Driftwood Branch of the Sinnamahoning a #16 Female Beaverkill was what the 10-inchers wanted last weekend but a few minnow-strippers went home with 16-18-inch browns in creel, and OG next two weeks. In Allegheny Forest area, streams are down to normal with fair fly hatches. On Titusville section of Oil Creek and riffles at lower end of Tionesta Creek browns from 8-12 inches are taking dry flies after midday sun boosts WT over 50.

NEW MEXICO: SO May 1 for all trout waters in the state, and estimated 35,000 anglers turned out; all streams in state are SH, F, should be N now; lakes above 9,000 feet are still frozen but for other waters, OG.

WASHINGTON: FG, OG in Liberty Lake and Okanogan County waters. Yale Reservoir, Silver, Loomis, Aldwell, Hicks, Lawrence, Storm, Flowing, Hannan and Wilderness lakes producing well and OG.

CALIFORNIA: As SO April 30 an estimated half-million anglers braved rain below 5,000 feet, snow above, and many lugged limits before opening day closed. Top spot on eastern slope of Sierras was Crowley Lake, despite gales that blew most anglers off water by 9:30 a.m. and snow flurries later; top fish was 13-pound brown taken on wobbler spoon cast from shore after snowstorm started.

WISCONSIN: As SO April 30 the Brule River produced many limit catches of small rainbows and browns, with a few fish in 4-to-6 pound class. River is C, N, with upper stream most productive, and OG.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Fair runs of cutthroats are in most lower mainland and Vancouver Island streams; coastal lakes are producing well despite frosts. Best lakes are the Campbells, McIvor, Mohun and Roberts; OG.

ATLANTIC SALMON: NEW BRUNSWICK: After high water spoiled most of last week, fishing for Miramichi blacks was picking up and best flies are Mickey Finn, Rose of New England and local bear-hair patterns; OG.

MAINE: SO May 1. Spring runoff wrecked opener on Narraguagus and Dennys, with no salmon killed on either river. Fishing for blacks is illegal in these rivers, but bright fish should be in the streams before May 10, and OG.

BLACK BASS: NEW MEXICO: Last week was best of year at Elephant Butte and Conchas lakes and OG through May 15 with plugs your best bet for big fish.

MISSOURI: Lake Clearwater C, N, FG with live bait and plugs and OG. Lake Wappapello (upper section) reports FG, OG despite slight murk in water.

CALIFORNIA: High winds whammied fishing on Colorado River last week but calmer weather should find bass greedy. San Diego County reservoirs report FF and improving.

TENNESSEE: Charles Welch of Speedwell, Tenn. hauled a 7-pound 3-ounce smallmouth from Norris Lake last week to set local record. Center Hill Lake producing large- and smallmouth bass in carload lots, while Dale Hollow has given up several smallmouth in 6-pound class, and OG. On Douglas, Cherokee, Fort Loudoun, Watts Bar and Chickamauga lakes most anglers are crappie-happy but bassing reported fair.

FLORIDA: Tampa Businessman Earl Brown fished the Kissimmee River last week using large shiners, caught 10-pound 8-ounce bass, felt very good, resumed fishing, caught 10-pound 6-ounce bass, felt even better. Lakes Tsala, Apopka, 70 miles N of Tampa, and Little Lake Harris, near Leesburg, are good bets this week.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Many limits to 6 pounds reported from Plum Branch area of Clarks Hill. FG at Santee-Cooper with popping bugs cast into shallows paying off for fly-rodders.