Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sun of 2011

You can see here that just a week or so ago we were hard-pressed to break 10 F and the rivers were pretty static. Now we're hanging above 30 F even through the nights, and the water is rising. Thus far rising slowly but peak heat is to come tomorrow. Feels like this is about one month early. Chatted with WFF a bit. We sensed this was coming and we got out in front of it for a little fishing in the sun the other day. Turned out to be a marginally arduous and very enjoyable journey out into a pretty wild place. County road to corn field to stream to smaller stream was the general sequence. After leaving our vehicles we did not encounter one road crossing, and we saw one farmhouse and one abandoned building off in the distance. That was about it regarding homo erectus and his structures. When we stopped for lunch around noon we had a high valley wall to our southwest, sun about us, and small water at our feet. Here are a few notes that pertain to fishing:

(1) We started off nymphing with tandem rigs: various scuds, etc. This was slow going. The wind was still about, and the sun hadn't really taken its place of prominence yet. So we ran flies through seams and over the course of 2-3 hours caught three brown trout between us. Many more words than fish for the AM period.

(2) We acknowledged that a big part of fishing is simply being on the water enough to allow oneself to walk into the right situations. The early afternoon was perfect case-in-point. We paused by a meadow edge and wondered if we should head back downstream, or approach some water we hadn't looked at yet. Who knew. We didn't know. We decided to walk over to the unseen water and we stumbled right onto a perfect stretch of stream: plunge pool followed by broken water followed by nice tailout. Fish rising over the entire reach. We used various dry flies and over the course of one hour or so we each caught 4-5 brown trout, of which most were in the 10-12" range. Some nice takes. In February. Who knew.

(3) On the way out, WFF stopped to nymph up a load of fish. Bunch of them, all from one hole. I proceeded to swing a baby brown trout streamer through a series of holes. Caught some fish doing that. Notable was a series of nice browns that edged up into the low teens that were all caught from the water in the last picture below. They really socked that little baby trout pattern.

(4) Never had this happen before: walking out in the deep and heavy snow just crushed me. Whatever muscle holds your hip to your thigh - that which is used to pick up your leg and set forward in step fashion - was just dogmeat by day's end. I've walked a million miles and never had that happen. Must have been the heavy snow and lack of snowshoes. Anyway: I sat in bed with my pants down rubbing muscle ointment into my pelvis (hehe). That did seem to help. Next day I was limping from the bus to the office like an old cripple. I figured I was done in, but the following day it was pretty much good to go. Old body is losing dependability. That burns me a little. I'm set to walk a stream for work on Friday - it'll be a good test. Maybe the muscles have been made stronger. Let's go with that.

(5) Bugs: we saw plenty of midges and black stones in the snow. Some stones 100 yards or more from the stream...

(6) Water temp: 49 F reading around noon I think.

(7) WFF report here.

Thanks WFF for bringing lunch, and for some important time exploring some new water.


Anonymous winonaflyfactory said...

Thanks for a good day, sorry we ended up hiking that route out. Should have cut to the road. That pic of the brown with the dry fly elongated like that is an awesome shot. I think you said that one was gonna be good at the time you took it. The Brown Trout streamer picked up a couple nice ones, love the jaw on that fish. Thanks for the books, I started in on them last night.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Not your fault my legs can't take it man. No worries. 100% healed now and ready to head out again.

Also mean to tie up more of those YOY BNT streamers. The key there is that they are very dense: sink fast, and "dart" about on retrieve.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Royce Gracie said...

Nice trip. Nice beard.

Take me with you.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a hip flexer Wendy. get the ache from lifting the knees unusually high. strtch that bad boy out. One foot ahead of the other, push ips forward. Switch feet repeat.

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