Nick Pionessa admires a nice spring steelhead.
Winter is finally loosening its grip on upstate New York although it still didn’t feel that way earlier in the week when I fished with Nick Pionessa, manager at the Oak Orchard Fly Shop in Williamsville. In water that was stained by the slow melt of a significant snow pack in the surrounding hills, we found some active fish as the water temperatures warmed near 40 degrees in the afternoon. In water with such limited visibility as 18 to 24 inches, big black and purple patterns seem to consistently work best in bringing steelhead to the fly. Nick had the hot hand for the day while putting on a clinic as how to hook and land spring steelhead on the swung fly. With the water temperature on the rise some good spring fishing should be upon us.