Door Closes on Stream Trout 2009
Sunday morning, September 25th I was looking for something – some appropriate act to close out the 2009 trout season. The catch and keep had been done for a while by then, and I hadn’t been out in weeks. If I remember correctly the last outing was back in mid-August: tricos. That was not to be matched and I knew that. So – no harvest and no hatch. In spite of those constraints, some little deal was necessary.
If you were to look on the blackboard in my shop, you’d see a heading that says “HIT HARD” – meaning fish a lot at these streams (listed below) in 2009. Right next to it is a heading that says “EXPLORE.” The HIT HARD list, at this point is kind of laughable. I didn’t hit anything hard. And when I did fish, I gravitated to the Root River system. The call of that river is pretty strong and its tractor beam landed on me this year. Kind of drew me in and enchanted me a bit, which was welcome and very cool. As I sit and type here, I can barely recall any outings in the Whitewater basin, save a few early deals – winter mostly. Likewise for one of my favorite streams (that I’d included on the HIT HARD LIST): before Sunday, September 25th I’d fished it half-heartedly for 2 hours. So that’s where I went. I closed out 2008 on the same stream. It offers a lot: brook trout, eater brown trout, big brown trout. My plan was to fish ~700-1100, but I found that around 1000 I had everything I’d come for: good number of fish, quite a few brook trout, a lot of fall air on my face, thoroughly numb feet, and a somewhat clear mind. So – at 1000 I walked out of the stream and drove home.
Here a few notes:
(1) Before my feet touched the water, I flipped a nymph rig into the top of a hole not more than 20 feet from my parked car. First cast brought out a pretty little brook trout.
(2) Standard nymphing was solid.
(3) Hooked one brown ~11-12” that immediately plunged deep into the pool and went unseen for ~20 seconds. It’s a reflection on the Sage 2 wt: more mystery, challenge and feeling has been added to trout fishing since I received that rig. As that fish dodged and pulled just after hooking, all kinds of images were flashing through my mind: big fish maybe
. Pretty cool.
(4) Good number of brook trout were caught. Colors are amazing – nature’s canvas.
(5) As I stood nymphing one really good hole, I noticed upstream that a fish was rising fairly steadily. Not in one place – kind of roaming and violently slashing. In the air was a sparse assemblage of bugs of various species/sizes: some big crane flies, some micro sized, pale mayflies and a few in between. I had given all my high-vis tricos to my neighbor. I think those would have worked well. Instead, I pulled out a parachute ant with an orange post – thinking I’d just put a black body of ~ #16 out there. Right on. The strike was applied with conviction, and I landed what I figured would/should be my last trout of the day.
(6) Couldn’t resist swinging a bugger in a big pool on the way back downstream though. Caught one ridiculously short-mouthed, long-bodied female brown on ~third cast.