Saturday, August 01, 2009


Been almost a week since this outing. Maybe that says something about the unremarkable nature of it. It wasn't "doomed from the start" but I'll go so far as to say that it was marked as mediocre from the beginning. First, I got up maybe 15 minutes too late. That bugs me because for these morning deals I like to leave before the sun comes up and return home around lunch time. Second, the stream I'd been scoping and hoping on for brook trout turned out to be ominously posted at all crossings that I could access. The stream itself was really skinny, so despite the fact that I could have by law fished it, I opted out. Opted for something more comfortable. I went on to a stream I fished a month or so ago and decided to look at a downstream reach I'd never seen. Hated it. Only one really good hole encountered over a couple hours of exploring. Mostly flat and featureless channel with no nice corners or woody debris, boulders, etc. And I was getting hot (wore waders to combat veg). I did catch a fish or two in this reach but I still was pissed at it for burning my time. I ran an orange scud through that deep hole like cash money and only got one fish. Couldn't believe it. Fish eat scuds. Got the hell out of there and went back to the section I'd fished earlier in the year. Tougher going as water was slightly lower and that had a significant impact: bellies that held fish last time were empty. I kept changing from terrestrial or stimulator back to nymph rig... non-committal as usual. Nymphing is the crutch. Dries are the desire. Always torn out there on the stream. Some decent moments but being that I'm in the middle of a pessimistic complaining wave I hesitate to mention them. Here they are though:
(1) I was reminded of the importance (sometimes) of the colors and sizes of the array of popular nymphs. They wouldn't eat the scuds. They kept charging and then refusing the DLK in purple with white tungsten head. The exact second I switched to all black PT with gold bead I started catching fish. They would charge (I could see a lot of takes) and then finish the deal. Fold on the fly.
(2) Caught three little brook trout from this stream. It was not listed as a brook trout stream. Conversations with DNR confirmed that they know brookies are present though. I wasn't even that high up in the system, so it was a pleasant surprise.
(3) Put a hopper and cast it at a still-water riser. The fish ate the fly and I pulled it out of its mouth. Fu** dude. Switched to a black beetle and put it on a casual riser just ~10 feet away. Fish at the fly and I pulled it out of its mouth. FU** DUDE. NO fish on terrestrials, stimulaters or any dry fly for that matter on this outing. Worth noting that there was never any real bug activity above the water surface though.
(4) Walked through one really cool run that was deep and fairly rocky. I got the king brown that was holding at the head of it. Ate the black PT. Leapt like the lord of leaping and put out some solid resistance as felt through that little 2 wt. Can't complain about that battle but I'm working on some angle of negativity there too. He wasn't huge but big enough to escape the creel for sure. If nothing else, respectable beyond frying pan consideration. No pics though. I refuse to post any pics of brown trout caught under the duress that was present during this outing. I will out of consideration for the reader post the brookie pictures, as they are remarkable creatures and somewhat of a treat.
(5) The one great reach that I was looking forward to was what I was looking forward to: sticky sweet and many-fish-producing. I knocked my share of 9-11 inchers on the head with the butt of my knife. I almost fell in the creek while eviscerating one of them.
(6) I jumped out and booked it back to the car, with a mind to hit one more stream: one that was formerly my most-frequented water. One that I hadn't touched since September 2008. There are a lot of streams that I used to fish often... that I haven't known this year at all. So it was a reunion. Dead cold and stone clear, as remembered. Really lovable water. I walked up to one of the favorite holes with the nymph rig held in my left hand. I sneaked up there. Maybe given the mood, I skulked up there. Without hesitation or pause I flipped the rig in, watch the indicator twitch, set the hook and proceeded to observe a small-headed, short-jawed female shooting out of the water. Nice fish. I unhooked her, let her slip away and then turnd my back on that hole and didn't look it again. Walked some of the stream and saw how the holes had changed a bit. Caught a couple more fish and exited.

Hard to bitch about going out for some solo time in SE MN, fishing spring creeks and catching your share of quarry. Something about it though: maybe the heat, the thick veg at streamside, the lack of any sort of prolific hatch, the lack of a companion or the spookiness of the fish in these conditions... Something that's got it tasting like cotton to me. Flavor ~ absent. Run of the mill. I need to inject something new. Or maybe I just need to be more positive and appreciate things. Not sure.


Blogger Unknown said...

Sorry for the disappointing outing - thats the price of exploring sometimes. But usually when scouting for trout (as opposed to carp - but I am not knocking them,,.) at least you end up in gorgeous places.

Last pic is very familiar - ice cold spooky fish, overhead brush - as you stated on TU - one fish there on a dry >>10 other fish from other methods. Even a 10 incher there is a prize.

Seems like you've hit the summer (lack of) dwindles. We need to grab that beer and chat.

Nice work as always.

1:00 PM  
Blogger John Montana said...

Quit yer bitchin! Hah! Small, clear water; a two weight fly rod; pheasant tails and fun to tie nymphs; the sheer magic of nymphing...absolutely no reason to feel unsatisfied but I get the general malaise. Prescription is a full day's outing to known but infrequently fished waters. The full day being key as
my guess is the general negativity likely stems from the feeling of time slipping away. Put together a numbers day. That could shake the cloud.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Just going to throw this out there: Life's a bitch some times, a guys gotta have a place to cuss and swer away from the "tender" ears of wives and childern. Step one untangel f-ing leader, fall in the g-d water and spook all the f-ing fish, and just for good measure walk through some nettles. Step two get into a fish or two and realize you still know what the f your doing. Step there fire up the grill, pull some trout out of the freezer if need be, have a beer, and know you put in an honest days "work". Don't ask me why that helps, but you're wife will thank you for it.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

You gents are understanding and supportive. Thanks for that. A million cheers and thanks.

I'm heading down to the vise now, to try some #22 trico with CDC wings. Maybe this legendary hatch can help get me out the dumps.

Paul - just bought a Leinies variety pack. Let me know when you can swing by. The invitation is open.

John and Jay - good advice on breaking malaise. Appreciated.

9:13 PM  
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