Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 11, 2011 Report

En route to a non-fishing engagement, I came upon a trout stream around 1030 AM on Friday. A stream that maybe 5-6 years ago I fished with some regularity. Now, given new homebase, I do not drive to this stream because it's the wrong locale. That is, I like other water better. Further south and east I mean.

Immediately saw fish rising and midges in the snow. I showed the risers some dry flies and emergers but couldn't get them to take. Crutched out and went to nymphs and logged maybe 10-12 fish over the first hour or so. Then with some fish to hand I went back to the midge dries with a little more determination. I sat on some fish and got the presentation down and caught them. The first was a bit of joy for sure. The fourth or fifth one was a great take by a fish that bumped into the low teens.

From that point on, I kept a dry fly out there and put it on every piece of decent looking water. Crappy casts and presentations due to numerous variables (primarily strong wind and lack of sufficient skill) were the norm, but when it came together fish were caught. Maybe a dozen on #18 dry flies. The most intriguing take was by a fish that had not been rising, holding near an old bridge piling. Looked like a beauty. Connection failed though, and he was not to be fooled again.

Noted the black stones in the snow too. Fish very definitely stopped rising at 2 PM.

This fish was caught nymphing, but I had to snap some photos because I was enchanted by those prominent spots. What a beauty.





First fish that ate the midge dry:

Best fish that ate the midge dry:

I'd be happy rising fish like this all day...

Productive water - both cushions on the sides of the rifle, and the tailout:

Any #18 traditional hackled fly was playable, if presented decently:


Could be that I'm not recalling the past ~10 winters correctly; could be that over the course of them I didn't fish dries in the winter enough (likely)... but it seems to me that winter 2011 has shown a pretty impressive willingness to give up good hatches and thus plenty of trout to dry flies.

20 Comments:

Anonymous winonaflyfactory said...

So a couple of thoughts...

Your #18 looks to be much larger than any midge I've seen out as of late, really makes one think of the aspect of presentation. Good notes here.

Those fish are beauties for sure. I will be making poor casts and presentations to trout until I'm into my sixties for sure. Might get a bit better but it happens.

Final thought, maybe it's fishing different winter water that has put me on more rising trout but I'm noticing something similar with my 2011 winter. Enjoying the mix of dry flies. Tossing a #18/20 dry on a longer leader is good practice for fat mayflies in the months to come and then...the gray caddis.

Good report.

9:57 PM  
Blogger John Montana said...

Fantastic stuff. I do miss those small streams.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

They were probably more like #20. 18 seemed to be working though. I need to straighten my leaders, fix all the tippets, and practice casting. Those dimensions would have increased fish caught significantly. I'm too lazy to do those things though. Or maybe I should say that because things work okay now I don't get motivated to do those things.

By the time big mayflies and caddis roll around, as you note: it'll feel cakey for sure.

And speaking of that: the boys and I ate outside today, after grilling venison sausage (charity to a shitty hunter). And I am about ready to uncover the coldframe to inspect the lettuce and spinach from 2010. James says he is seeing signs of spring. Lord knows it can come any time.

And finally: JM may need some trout fishing some time soon. He's immersed in carp but I bet he'd enjoy it. Also need to get my brothers on some trout down here some time.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Dustin's Fly Box said...

What camera are you using> You got a great blog and got a new follower

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents spent about 25 years in a home they built outside Eitzen MN. When I went down there I usually found just enough spare time to getting in a little fishing. Later, with my brother-in-law, we explored a number of streams in the Bluff country and always enjoyed it, with or without fish.
My Father died and my Mother moved up to the cities and I haven't gone trout fishing since then. Your blog brings back many very pleasant memories from those times. Thanks.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I appreciate the notes.

You can't really mess with Eitzen. You were by some good water and sacred country. Glad you have those memories. And I hope you get out again some time.

Camera is Pentax Optio W20. There are a number of subsequent iterations of it.

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