Rivanna River: Pen Park 2/25/12
Air Temp: 47.5 deg F
Water Temp: 47.3 deg F
Sunny and windy
Water Clarity: very turbid, low visibility
Hatch Activity: none
By every measure today was a bad day for fly fishing. Winds gusting to 45mph, sunny skies and a recent temperature drop from the seventies to the forties. My initial plans were for some crappie fishing on these precious two days off. There were some rumors on the interweb that the crappie pre spawn may be happening a little sooner than mother nature usually intends. There were plenty of other signs that her hypothalamus is askew. On the drive to the park we noticed large clumps of daffodils and a flowering cherry had burst forth some dark pink blossoms. This is a spectacle seen most often in March ’round these parts.
But I digress. We met up with the enterprising authors of Brew Your Ownium for a walk in the park. I decided to leave the fly rod in the truck, but I did bring my camera and thermometer along for some quick measurements.
This time last year the flows were much higher than usual and remained that way for most of March-mid June. Dave and I think those constant high flows cleared a lot of the silt from previous years and polished the rocks clean. The rocks didn’t get that slick coating until early September last year. That slick coating makes for some dicey wading at times. The VDGIF puts out an Annual Smallmouth fishing report The report from 2012 isn’t available yet, but they stress that recent “good” spawning years were 2004 and 2007. The best predictor of a successful spawning season is average river flows. Very high or very low flows in spring negatively impact the success of the spawn. I think we’ll see that last years spawn wasn’t very successful if flows are that important, but it appears that this year’s spawn should be very good.