Fishing in late winter and early spring, before runoff kicks in, can be pretty tricky, given short windows for dry-fly action, the likelihood that, even though the calendar reads April, an out-of-nowhere snow squall is certainly possible and the general finicky nature of cold-water trout.
The solution, as Garrison Doctor of Rep Your Water describes below, is to bring two fly rods.
Yes, this adds some complexity to your time on the water, but if you have a rod rigged for nymphs, and a sporadic hatch starts to come off, you’ll be ready to simply switch rods and start casting to rising trout. And winter hatches are fleeting… sometimes they last just a few minutes, and sometimes they last all day.
Either way, with that second rod, you’ll be ready.
— Chris Hunt