Monday, April 17, 2006


Catch & Keep Opener

Last year I spent this day on lakes - letting the crowds have the trout streams... this year I decided to give it a go. I set the alarm for 5:01 AM. It wasn't early enough. By the time I got out, there were already quite a few people fishing (6:20 AM). By the time I left the first stream I had seen no fewer than a dozen people - all fishing with gear/bait and most dressed in heavy mossy oak camo (??). While I realize I was part of the crowd myself, this was not a normal situation for me... I'm not used to so many people being around. I felt rushed and watched, and the whole deal was pretty negative. I wedged myself in at one hole and caught about 8 fish in an hour or so, which was nice. The only downer was that all but one were brook trout - I was looking to keep a few browns. The only brown I caught ended up in the creel - 12.5 inch fatty that leapt twice and made quite a ruckus... and after catching so many brookies I decided to keep one - first time ever. Two things I never saw at the first stop: (1) another fly rod, (2) a fish caught by anyone other than me (however, I was not looking over shoulders - I'm sure folks caught fish... the only two guys I spoke to were on the way out though - neither had caught a fish).

The next stop was busy too - but only at the bridges. By the time I got there it was around 1030 AM. I ran upstream to try to find some unoccupied water - only had to walk about 10 minutes. However - caught only creek chubs in marginal habitat. I did find a lamprey spawning site - see later post that I'll put out here. I went back to the bridge and threw nymphs out a few times - on third cast got a rainbow right off the truck. A family fishing bait caught 2-3 stocked rainbows while I was there - kids were pretty excited.

So I went home with one each: brown, brook, rainbow. We soaked them in lemon juice for a few hours and fried them for dinner - I have to say it was a top notch meal. It's a privilege to consume these stream fish.

One other note: I preserved the stomach contents of each of these three fish. The two wild fish had scuds and other bugs in stomach - the rainbow was full of rocks and sticks! He didn't know what to eat!

6 Comments:

Blogger john montana said...

wait until you fish the silver salmon run with me at cedar creek on the sandy river. it is absolute combat fishing. i pretty much do it once/twice a year to catch a few 10-14 lb salmon, then bag it. can't deal with the crowds, and we are talking major crowds. of course the river is much bigger, but anyway you stack it, cedar creek can be a nightmare.

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