“We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory.  But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit,” ->>Tom Brown-The Tracker
Fishing In March

             It came in like a lamb, but as to whether it will go out like a lamb or lion  remains to be seen. The month of March with its ever-changing weather is a month of waiting and preparing for the fly fisher.

            Trout fishing is a possibility e in all Mass. ponds and streams as the season is open all year around. Here in R.I., trout season is closed from March 1 until the second Saturday in April. A new 2013 R.l license will be required if you intend to dab in freshwater places not stocked with trout while waiting for the season to open. Largemouth bass fishing is available in most ponds during the month. On the warm, sunny days, bass frequent the shallows to bask in the warmer waters.  This makes shore fishing for them possible. This is especially true where there is rip rap or boulders on the northern shore. These rocks gather in the heat from the sun’s rays and act like radiators by giving off their warmth to the surrounding  water. They make this part of the pond warmer than the rest and the bass sense this. Down at the salt the water temperatures will start to rise and by mid month and life will slowly begin to return.

            While all this is going on it is a good time to prepare for the upcoming season. There are flies to be tied, rods to be built and reels to clean and lubricate for starters. Fly lines should he checked for wear and cracks, braided leaders and their loops should be checked as well. Check the tip tops on your rods for wear. Be sure to check them out with a magnifying glass for grooves. A casual once over is unlikely to spy any damage. If you’re on the water a lot, chances are they need replacing. . How about your waders? Go to a pond or stream and try them out for leaks, they may have developed cracks during the winter due to improper storage or plain old drying out. Your very first outing of the year is not a very good  time to discover new leaks. However,  thirty degree  water temperatures have a way of telling  things other leak tests can’t. You’re sure to expedite any needed repairs. March is also a good time to order or buy your replacement gear as well as the fly tying materials and hooks you will need later on in the year.

               As we  prepare ourselves for the fishing season ahead, nature will begin showing us signs of spring. The “harbingers” of spring will arrive this month. No, they are not the Robin Red Breasts many people associate with spring. They  are the Cowbirds, boat tail grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds which arrive well ahead of the robins. To me they are the true harbingers of spring.  So far this year has been unusual for birds visiting my yard. I’ve had an American Robin in my yard all winter long eating bruised apples I put out for him and a Mockingbird. I see Robins occasionally during the winter especially along the coast and in marshy areas but I’ve never had one winter over.  Apples work because he’s really fat but sure pleases the eye with his bright reddish orange breast  I’ve also had a pair of Carolina Wrens also winter-over. They typically visit my yard in December and stay until the 2nd week in January when the coldest winter weather arrives They then leave and return in late April. I’ve never had a pair of Wrens winter-over.  Around mid -February a few Boat tailed grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds and Cowbirds usually arrive and at month’s end many can be seen. This year I didn’t see them until Presidents Day, a week later and only sporadic sghtings from then on. As the birds are  arriving the buds on the willows will continue to swell. By month’s end those bushes with a good  southern exposure will have opened, exposing their furry gray coat. Through these signs nature is showing us that the time for fishing is growing near and as usual she will be right.—-Ray

Copyright Ray Bondorew-2013