Early May River Report

Posted by The Mountaineer on 11th May 2021

Early May River Report

River Report: Early May - courtesy of Mountaineer Ambassador, Sean Platt

Current conditions:

With colder temps and abundant precipitation, local rivers have seen an increase in flows and slowed activity in the past week. That said, sporadic hendrickson hatches have been occurring on some of the rivers to the south and those at lower elevations. The next week should see a return to more agreeable flows and an increase in bug activity as water temps begin to warm.


Now is a great time to swing wet flies as hatches begin to happen, especially in the early stages of the hatch. Simple patterns like Partridge and Pheasant in sz 12-16 have proved to be very effective of late. Also a great time to nymph with larger stonefly imitations like Girdle Bugs and Nemec stones, as the spike in flows will usually offer an abundance of food, especially stoneflies. Trout will key in on these patterns even after the flows subside.

It is definitely worth having some dries with you as well. Ausable bombers, haystacks and parachute adams in sz 12-16 are great options for early season risers. As always, take your time and observe the water you are fishing. As for times, afternoons till just before dark have been the most productive and should continue to be for the next few weeks.


As many Adirondack anglers know, the prime season for chasing trout on local rivers will soon be here. May 15th through June 15th can typically offer some excellent fishing as temps are near perfect and hatches can be numerous. It is crucial to make sure you are ready before you get to the water, in order to maximize your time on the river.

Now is a great time to go through your equipment and make sure everything is operating as it should. There is nothing worse than having something malfunction, whether it be equipment or forgotten gear, especially when the fishing is on. The following are a few recommendations for easy equipment checks that can make or break your outing.


It is always a good idea to get some fresh leaders for the season. As for tippet, and this is such a simple thing and yet I can’t tell you how many times I have seen anglers lose fish due to old, brittle tippet. An easy guideline is if you can’t remember when you bought it, it's time to replace it. Fulling Mill’s Masterclass Flourocarbon is our go to here at Bent Water Anglers. With 50 meter spools, crazy tensile strength and abrasion resistance this stuff has proven its effectiveness time and time again.


I am notoriously awful when it comes to maintaining my equipment, but you shouldn’t be. A quick check to make sure that your rod is free of nicks, all the guides are intact and that your reel seat locks are functioning can prove very helpful.

Same with your reel, a quick check to make sure it is working well and depending on the model a quick dab of grease can go a long way.

As for your line, make sure there aren’t any cracks or obvious nicks/cuts. Also a great idea to take and stretch your line/make a few casts in the yard to get rid of any memory/coiling from a winter's worth of storage. Just a few checks can save you a lot of headaches down the road.


It is always a great practice to check your fly inventory pre-season. This quick ritual can save you from that awful situation of thinking you have a fly, only to realize, as fish are rising, that your memory isn’t quite as good as you thought. This also allows you to check for, and remove any rusted flies.


A quick once over for any obvious tears/holes can save you a soggy first outing. As stated winter can do funny things to our memory, like make that tear you swore you’d fix in the offseason somehow disappear. Loon Outdoors has some great products for fixing and deodorizing waders so you can stay fresh and dry on the water. Boots might just be the most important piece of equipment, especially for some of the gnarly wading that the Adirondacks offers. As such, a quick check of laces, seams and overall integrity can keep you from say, losing both soles in one day, not that it’s ever happened.

A little bit of time off the water can save your day on the river. I hope these tips help and hope to see you on the water soon!

Tight Lines,

Sean Platt