Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One of the cold days; can't remember just which one after the Jan1 opener with the boys; it was the day on which Packers hosted Giants.  Cold as you could ever want it, with a hard-pushing south wind.  The calendar wasn't working for me, as I had an afternoon free but terrible conditions.  Figured I would go out anyway, see about maybe trying to get down deep with a big nymph to move a large trout.  Stay close to home.  First two holes very deep; dredged down in there for a while; nothing.  No fish to hand and not even any moved.  South wind just biting.  Coming off that Jan1 outing and then more immediately coming from my warm house I was thinking very hard about hanging it up.  Day is done.  This was the first cold day on my bare hands and they were just folding on me; deathly cold such that I questioned what I was doing.  Tried the gloves that I keep in the emergency pack.  Hated them.  Hate gloves while fishing.  I know some people use them and I feel I should consider training myself to do so.  But I have taken to the deer hunting muffler; not gloves.  I need to feel the line in my fingers.  I left the best two pieces having touched no fish but fully intending to try one last hole; one that is typically stacked with fish, noses tight to a natural barrier.  Threw the gloves to the snow and tucked in a little lee; commenced to nymph for a while.

What followed was about 45 minutes of catching a lot of fish like this one.  I think hooked 17 and landed 14.  Not a single fish over 12 inches long.  I was fishing a big nymph lead with an orange trailer (not a scud but a sort of shortcut scud).  Every single trout ate the trailer.  One creek chub ate the big nymph lead.

Key was banging the nymph rig against the natural barrier just right and letting it wash down into the main current.  A flip just short of the barrier would put flies on a descent that generally angled downward but over the top of where the fish were holding.  Three brook trout to hand including this pretty nice one.  Fly lodged on inside of left mandible was the deal as they were all facing upstream and I was on river right thus setting the hook and pulling the fly into the left corner of mouth.

One of the brook trout was hatched spring 2016 which I thought good and notable.

13 F air temp is not all that cold really, but relative to the Jan1 opener, and with the wind chill: it almost beat me down.  Kind of a decent lesson in persistence.  Tried to speak to myself like I sometimes speak to my kids.  Keep at it; good things happen.  And I suppose one could question whether or not catching and releasing fourteen smallish trout is a "good thing."  It is a good thing.  Even while favorite hours are guiding kids, I still like to craft some drifts and pick up the rod to find it tight on a trout.  Drive home and perceive the feeling coming back to hands and feet; good car heater pushing hard.


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