First spring trips
Not the first outing this season, but the weather’s been unruly, putting my fishing plans on hold. Finally, spring has graced Lithuania with its radiant sunshine, prompting me to start mapping out regular trips. I pick up where I left off last season, heading to a familiar spot. Upon arrival, I notice two cars already parked—one angler downstream, another likely trekking upstream. I opt to venture further upriver, about 5 kilometers. Swiftly, I prepare my gear and make my way to the river. The water levels are within the normal range, albeit a tad muddy, still suitable for fishing. The start is rather lackluster—cast after cast, no bites, and no trout in sight. I meticulously explore every potential hotspot. About two hours in, I finally get a bite. There’s a fallen tree obstructing the river, creating a deeper enclave where the current diligently carves its path beneath the wooden blockade. As my lure passes through a trout elegantly emerges, briefly nudging the minnow, but fails to take the bait. I try once more, with the same frustrating outcome. Three more casts yield nothing. Changing the lure proves futile as well. It appears I squandered my opportunity. Determined, I press onward. Half an hour later, in a stretch of the river that runs straight as an arrow, I successfully hook the first trout of the day—a minuscule 25-centimeter specimen. The Spearhead Ryuki 50S lure did the trick, barely hooking onto its lip. I set it free. I forge ahead, continuously switching lures, but it seems their choice is inconsequential today. What truly matters is locating the trout—they’re hungry and ready to strike. Another trout succumbs to the allure of the Ryuki lure, yet again a smaller one. I pause to indulge in a well-deserved lunch break, embracing the opportunity to unwind and savor the crisp freshness of the air. Following my meal, I find myself blessed with the thrill of a significant trout bite. A bend in the river reveals a deep abyss. Poised on a small ledge, I cast my line. The first attempt proves fruitless, but on the second, a colossal trout emerges from the depths, lunges at the lure, splashing on the surface, only to elude capture. I had my chance and squandered it. Unperturbed, I soldier on, reeling in one more modest-sized trout and encountering yet another missed opportunity. The day concludes with a total of six bites and three trout captured in my landing net. I can’t help but speculate that larger trout lie upstream. Given the recent warmer days, my intuition tells me they’re still in a sluggish state after spawning, nesting comfortably near their breeding grounds.
A week later, the sun blazes overhead, casting its golden glow upon the landscape. The temperature climbs to a pleasant +18 degrees, and the weather presents itself in all its splendid glory. I decide to venture to a river not far from Vilnius, a place I frequented when I first embarked on my trout-fishing journey. In those early days, I tried my luck downstream, but only managed to reel in modest-sized trout. However, that was six or seven years ago. Now, I set my sights on the mid-river section, enticed by the tip from a fellow angler that there are fine trout lurking in that patch. As I venture away from the car, the heat quickly intensifies, enveloping me in its scorching embrace. I pause to shed a few layers, seeking respite from the searing rays. The area proves to be an arduous challenge, with towering grass and knee-high mud that test my every step. Casting becomes a Herculean task amidst these unfavorable conditions. Alas, this patch fails to yield any fruitful results. However, I recall that the forest awaits further upstream, beckoning me with the promise of smoother terrain and greater casting opportunities. And true to my instincts, I am rewarded. As I stand in one particular spot, casting straight ahead, my peripheral vision catches a flicker on the surface—a trout feeding! The river has carved a hollow beneath the bank, concealing a crafty trout below. On my first cast, I receive a bite, but it slips away before I can secure the hook. Undeterred, I try again, and this time the trout takes the bait. It darts towards me, engaging in a final battle as I strive to net my victory. Luck favors me, and I emerge triumphant. The trout measures a respectable 35 centimeters—a prize worth celebrating. I snap a couple of photos to immortalize the moment before releasing it back into the flowing depths. The Major Craft Eden lure proved its worth, providing a sigh of relief that the first catch didn’t keep me waiting too long. Considering the late start to my day and an empty stomach devoid of breakfast, I indulge in a satisfying lunch, replenishing my energy for the journey ahead. Energized, I continue my expedition. The scenery undergoes a transformation as more trees come into view. The river transitions from sinuous depths to a broader, more linear course. Cast after cast, I persist, and another trout succumbs to the allure, though smaller in size, it exudes an impressive vigor and plumpness. In hopes of enticing a larger catch, I switch lures, only to find another trout of similar proportions lured by my offering. It swiftly seizes the lure upon landing on the water’s surface. Continuing on, another hundred meters pass, but I decide to halt my fishing endeavors as I enter a populated area, where distant figures diligently tend to their springtime chores. The first two out with a collection of fine trout. Now, I eagerly await the arrival of even larger specimens, eager to test my skills against their might.