Monday, March 27, 2006

March 25, 2006
Last Winter Outing—Great Day!
Conditions: air temp was around 30-35 F, sky was very cloudy—almost completely overcast. No wind at all. Midge activity all day: they
were approximately #16 midges, and they did not have the “furry” looking antennae that I often see on midges. They never really took to the
air—they just skittered around on the surface of the water. When at rest on the surface, they formed a sort of “T” with body and legs. I saw a
few large “clumps” of them floating downstream. They were dark/black in color—abdomen looked like it might have been slightly blue, but
hard to tell.
When I fished: 1000 to 1630—a long time, but fished very slowly and thoughtfully.
Where I fished: I parked at the BLANK bridge on BLANK and walked downstream for ~20-30 minutes. I stopped when I got
to a residence (BLANK) with a BLANK by the stream. I turned around there and started nymphing upstream.
What I fished: mostly nymphed with two flies—in many cases both were pink squirrels. However, I did use crane fly larvae as the lead fly
for a while, and I also used a small black bugger as the lead fly. Toward the end of the day I went away from the pink squirrel and used a
basic hares ear pattern. ALL of these flies were successful and effective. I also used a #16 soft hackle (close to a Wilted Spinach) to imitate
the hatching midges—I fished it at up and across at one hole and caught three beauties in three different ways: (1) I just lifted the rod because
it felt like a fish should be there, and one was there, (2) a fish splashed at the fly on the surface (or where I thought the fly should be—I
couldn’t really see it), (3) I saw the tip of my fly line jolt, so I set the hook. In all of these cases I think the pseudo-Spinach was a couple
inches below the surface. As for the nymphs—they seemed to like everything. At least one of the two biggest fish took the crane fly larva.
Where the fish were: in the deep blue pools mostly (had to nymph pretty deep in most
cases), but also in some moderately deep runs of broken water. Woody debris really
produced—logs running parallel to the flow usually housed fish. They were really
everywhere you’d expect them to be… pretty great!
Fish caught: an honest estimate of total brown trout landed is 12-15. Of those fish,
only one was a dinker. All others were a minimum 11-12”, with probably half going
14-15” and two big beautiful fish that may have pushed 16”. It was amazing—every
time I hooked a fish I felt the weight and saw the flash and I couldn’t believe it was
another big one…. Wow, was it fun. Most of the fish fought hard, so I had to use
the reel all day. Some took me downstream, some leapt once or twice…. One tailwalked
across the stream. I actually landed the majority of the fish I hooked, but I
lost a few too, and missed my share. Three interesting fish that I didn’t catch: (1) one
brute socked my indicator and gave me a heart attack (I think I did catch this fish
though a few casts later), (2) one nice fish snapped at and grabbed my nymph as I was
pulling it out to recast, (3) one great fish was hiding in this little tiny pocket by a log
and I hooked him but he shook the hook, then proceeded to leap into the air. In general,
there were few, but large fish; there were no holes that I found that were stacked
up with fish. Like BLANK—the population is BLANK…
However, unlike BLANK, almost every good hole here BLANK.
Keys to remember for next trip to this stream: (1) do not waste time fishing downstream
(I had tried swinging buggers here twice before and caught only one fish each
time) - hike way downstream and work back up, (2) key on woody debris—even if it
is in shallower water—but especially when near holes, and especially when logs run
parallel to flow, (3) two-nymph rig works really well, as usual, (4) next time bring dry
fly box, (5) be prepared for many stout fish!
I was so absorbed, and loving the stream and fish so much I didn’t eat a thing all day
and drank only a few mouthfuls of snow.
I’m glad that I finally tried (and stuck with to fruition) something other than
nymphing. Picking up the rod and feeling those fish that took the soft hackle was one
of my best fishing experiences… more rewarding that watching an indicator. Fishing
like that is more difficult, but also more interesting, involved and satisfying. I
bet if I bring a big attractor dry fly to this stretch in the summer it will provoke some
monster surface takes.
This was one of my top trout days of all time. I’ve never caught so many large,
strong fish. I feel very fortunate to have logged these hours and created these memories.


Blogger John Montana said...

great report justin! it is tough to beat a good day on the water...

9:20 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

I don't comprehend all the lingo in full.... obviously I don't have the love and appreciation for fishing as do you.... but I appreciate good writing and the enthusiastic description! Good stuff!

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