Monday, April 17, 2006

Catch & Keep Opener

Last year I spent this day on lakes - letting the crowds have the trout streams... this year I decided to give it a go. I set the alarm for 5:01 AM. It wasn't early enough. By the time I got out, there were already quite a few people fishing (6:20 AM). By the time I left the first stream I had seen no fewer than a dozen people - all fishing with gear/bait and most dressed in heavy mossy oak camo (??). While I realize I was part of the crowd myself, this was not a normal situation for me... I'm not used to so many people being around. I felt rushed and watched, and the whole deal was pretty negative. I wedged myself in at one hole and caught about 8 fish in an hour or so, which was nice. The only downer was that all but one were brook trout - I was looking to keep a few browns. The only brown I caught ended up in the creel - 12.5 inch fatty that leapt twice and made quite a ruckus... and after catching so many brookies I decided to keep one - first time ever. Two things I never saw at the first stop: (1) another fly rod, (2) a fish caught by anyone other than me (however, I was not looking over shoulders - I'm sure folks caught fish... the only two guys I spoke to were on the way out though - neither had caught a fish).

The next stop was busy too - but only at the bridges. By the time I got there it was around 1030 AM. I ran upstream to try to find some unoccupied water - only had to walk about 10 minutes. However - caught only creek chubs in marginal habitat. I did find a lamprey spawning site - see later post that I'll put out here. I went back to the bridge and threw nymphs out a few times - on third cast got a rainbow right off the truck. A family fishing bait caught 2-3 stocked rainbows while I was there - kids were pretty excited.

So I went home with one each: brown, brook, rainbow. We soaked them in lemon juice for a few hours and fried them for dinner - I have to say it was a top notch meal. It's a privilege to consume these stream fish.

One other note: I preserved the stomach contents of each of these three fish. The two wild fish had scuds and other bugs in stomach - the rainbow was full of rocks and sticks! He didn't know what to eat!


Blogger John Montana said...

wait until you fish the silver salmon run with me at cedar creek on the sandy river. it is absolute combat fishing. i pretty much do it once/twice a year to catch a few 10-14 lb salmon, then bag it. can't deal with the crowds, and we are talking major crowds. of course the river is much bigger, but anyway you stack it, cedar creek can be a nightmare.

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