Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Closing the Loop

On the trout season that is.

I was a little anxious to get up and out on Sunday morning. The plan was to leave well before anyone was awake, and return just a couple hours after breakfast…. Proceed through the day then riding the high and emanating goodness. The days are getting shorter. I got up too early and actually ended up waiting a while at streamside for some steel gray to break through the dark. During that wait, I played around with the camera a bit. I toyed with the idea of being aggressive and swinging streamers in the dark… but just wasn’t up for it. The desire was for some nymphing. My dad gave me a 7 foot fiberglass rod (see pic) that I wanted to try out… ended up fishing it all morning.

Fishing started at the best hole, with strategy being fish it early and first, move on to the body of the stream and return to it at the end after some reset time. Plan started out pretty well. Right away (~715 AM maybe) fish started eating pink squirrel #18 and gray scud #20 or #22. They weren’t in the top of the pool but rather in the middle and tail it seemed. Chucking rig up to front and letting it sink… fishing pretty deep… and then on the edge of current… that seemed to pick up fish consistently. At that first hole I had a quota enough to make a guy happy. Good way to begin. No small fish either… all were in that 11-14” range it seemed, which was exceptional. It’s worth mentioning that three browns actually took line off the reel, which I thought was pretty cool. They fought with vigor. It would have been a fine sample from which to take a few home, but alas – keeping time ended a couple weeks ago. I was surprised to catch no book trout during this first burst of action. Toward the end, I set up the Gorilla Pod on a rock and took a couple photos.

Worked my way upstream… Gray, silent day and no folks around. I took sweet time at each hole. I never did find another big run of fish, but each hole turned out one or two browns. Hooked a beautiful brookie – probably right around 11” – but I was up high on a bank and as I tried to pick my way down to the water’s edge I think I put a little too much tension on and she popped off. Showed me her bright red before flipping away though.

One of the coolest fish encountered was not actually caught… Spotted a couple of nice browns hanging in a very difficult location under a log that was perpendicular to the flow. No way to get them nymphs. I cut off the trailing scud and replaced it with a WS variation… crept upstream and swung it down. I had to cast into what was basically slack water and mend a bunch of line downstream and right just to get the fly in front of the fish for even a second, as the fish were positioned near the right bank. I figured odds weren’t good, but I wasn’t in a rush, so I kept at it… finally get the line to come tight just right in that little alley of flow and like clockwork the hit came. Missed though.

Another notable fish was the one pictured below as photographed from a downed tree. I climbed out above the water and flipped the nymphs in that deep dark hole… and was actually fishing to a bigger brown when that one came and struck the pink squirrel. That’s a nice fish.

When I returned to the starting point I encountered a gear fisherman at the pool throwing a lure all the way across and dragging it back. I figured it was his turn to work the water, so I fished a seam for about one minute and left.

The trout season ends where it started this year then, on a home water – small tributary to a big river. Beautiful day and beautiful fish.

It's early.

High sticking was in play. Gorilla pod experimentation here. Cool device. Note that reel is seated up from butt - cork grip wouldn't let me put it at the rod's base. Kind of made for a fighting butt on a 7 foot rod, which was interesting.

Small pink squirrels, scuds and HE got all the day's fish.

Trout on glass was very cool. The 7 footer is a good small stream rod. I was surprised to find that I could get a lot of line out with it... 4 wt line maybe slightly under-loaded it.

Fishing from a tree.

This is what the word beautiful means. It's part of why I take pictures when I'm fishing: words, no matter how eloquent the pen, cannot describe this... and I don't trust my memory to paint it right.

Fall is here.


Blogger John Montana said...

love that stream.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm a hydrologist in south Florida, and also have a "water" blog. I'm not a fisherman myself ... but the fishing territory down here of preference is the 10000 Islands.

Would it be alright if I used a photo or two of yours in my "Photo Of The Day" feature. I will give you a photo credit for the submittal and any caption you'd like to include.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that looked like a fun day. i like the pictures. now that the seasons over do you spend your time tying for next season?

8:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


love your photos J. keep up the great posting...

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The plan was to leave well before anyone was awake, and return just a couple hours after breakfast…. Proceed through the day then riding the high and emanating goodness."

This is so true, when it happens. If I go w/o any sleep but catch tons of big fish at night I can go the entire day just thinking about it....But when I don't.....ugh.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...


Sure thing on the photo bit. How did you find this blog? Yours is pretty intense - looks like a lot of work to provide all that info.


YES - tying will throughout winter. In fact, tying some tonight in prep for a short outing tomorrow.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

NOTE: I showed that Lake Montague to my neighbor, who is an expert in the field of glass rods and vintage reels. He confirmed that it is in fact a combo fly/spinning or maybe even a straight up spinning rod... ! That probably explains why the fly reel was seated so high. It loaded fine and tossed that 4 wt line around all day... what I can say - I'm not a rod guru.

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