Thursday, November 25, 2010

Playing Hookey

I had booked yesterday as a vacation day but had so much work backed up that I planned on sitting at the desk most of the day getting caught up. Without the structure of back-to-back meetings my mind wandered. I scheduled lunch with Ann, puttered about the house, surfed the web and basically did everything I could to avoid the work that I had set about to do earlier.

After lunch, with a car full of fly fishing gear, I decided that a quick swing by a small stream near the house was in order. Of course, it was purely for scientific purposes. The water had been barely a trickle all summer and I wondered if any trout had managed to survive in some deep cool spot.

The wind was howling as I came down to the stream. I tried to fish the usual runs along a farmer's field but the wind gusting across those fields made casting a nightmare. My flies spent more time in the stream side bushes than they did in the water.

With frustration building I decided it was time for a cigar and a rest out of the wind. I marched upstream to a more sheltered spot with the stream took a turn up a valley. With a Hemingway well lit I proceeded to work up Corner Hole Pool. This delightful piece of water can hold fish through out so it's important to work it from the tail to plunge at the head.

Corner Hole
The tail held nuttin but by the time I had worked to the head I had managed a few strikes on a PT dropper and brought a ten inch  Brown to the lip of the net before he shook off.

I felt like I had caught a hypochondriac trout. As soon as he was hooked he went into "I gonna die! I'M GONNA DIE! I'M DEAD!' mode. The fight was lackluster and even when he shook the hook he laid there on his side floating in the water. I could just hear him thinking "I'M DEAD! WOE IS ME!". As soon as I realized he wasn't swimming away I went to net him again and that's when he came to life and scurried upstream to nestle beside a rock in the water. Strangeness.

Brookie Run
With the light fading -- had I really been on the water for three hours already? -- I moved up to a piece of water I call Brookie Run. It's relatively shallow water with a cobble bottom. It's water that looks, at first glance, to be too shallow to be good holding water. However, the softball and basketball sized rocks on it's bottom have plenty of nooks and crannies in which fish can shelter.

The PT brought a small brown to hand, all three inches of him, about mid-way up the run but I otherwise went fishless all the way up to the riffle.

I was happy to see trout in the stream though catching a Brookie would have been a bonus. Their population hasn't fared well over the past couple of years though a wild population of Browns and an occasional Rainbow seem to be doing okay.

I'm going up to the Housatonic on Friday with a bunch of good friends. Looking forward to the camaraderie of this annual post-Thanksgiving trip. Even if the fishing is poor the day will be most excellent.

Tip of the Day: Tom Rosenbauer had recommended over weighting small stream rods so they load quicker. Today I gave that a try with a 5wt line on my 7 foot 4 wt rod. Worked like a charm. Definitely recommend this to all small stream junkies.

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