|Froggy, Cold Water. With Trout.|
The hatches have been very regular and the trout large and strong. I attribute this to the great water we had last year. Of course, I complained often when it rained like crazy all summer and fall but it seems to have resulted in something worthwhile.
If I take my time gearing up I can be on the water in about twenty minutes. If I'm in a rush and I've got a rod strung, I can be on the water in fifteen minutes. Last Wednesday I was ready to go and I was down at the mouth of a small tributary in what may have been a new record.
|Dame's Rocket. From friggin' Asia.....|
Dude, it's way too early in this report to be posting
flower pictures. Have some faith that you'll find a fish.
There's a bend pool a quarter of a mile upstream right in the middle of a somewhat froggy section; wide and slow with little structure. A couple of months ago, while walking the dog, Ann and I walked that portion of the river. I spooked a trout out of the undercut bank in that bend. Perhaps he was still there.
The water up there is flat, flat, flat. Wading spooks everything to hell so most of the approach is spent scrambling, sometimes on all fours, through thick brush. You then slide into the river as near as you dare to the target zone and cast gently
I was lucky. When I arrived there was a sporadic caddis hatch and a rising fish right where I expected it to be. I cast to him through several fly changes. He didn't like what I had and I eventually put him down.
I gave the water a rest and moved upstream practically stepping on another rising trout. Coming around a bend, still bushwhacking, I hear the sound of a waterfall. There are no waterfalls on this stream.
It's a beaver dam.
But then I saw some trout rising in his pond. Maybe a bit of detente was in order.
The fish near the damn were spooked by my approach but there were a few more rising along the near bank. I saw a spot upstream where I could slide into the water and try a dry-dropper drift. Unfortunately, the vermin hadn't done a great job of clearing the path to the spot. Between here and there was every manner of man-made and natural barbed obstacle.
|WTF? What's next, the beavers and |
the trout laying claymores?
Fortunately the new growth wasn't up yet so all I had to do was crunch through last year's growth. My hippers already leak so the extra pin pricks won't matter a bit. And through some sort of genetic
The upstream spot looked far more appealing from a distance. Instead of a small sandy perch it was a three foot slide down a clay bank into about a foot of boot sucking slime. But from there I could cast to all the likely spots so I made the best of it.
I rested the water a bit after my sloppy entry, enjoyed some highland cheer and kept a keen eye out for large, sneaky rodents.
|More flora?! Really? Where the hell are the fish?|
I'd like to say that my technique was flawless and that I picked off the fish in order upstream to down without one spooking the other.
In truth, I was sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Spooked a few. Caught streamside brush. Dragged the fly. Missed strikes. But I did manage a few trout -- a fat Rainbow, a beauty of a Brown and one of what may have been last year's stream born crop of Browns.
Now it's almost dark and I'm stuck deep in the muck with seven levels of thorny hell between me and the field that's just behind the trees. I manage to make it back up the clay bank only slipping twice (remind me some time to tell you about the time the clay on Wappingers Creek tried to kill me).
I never made it back to the bend pool. I'm sure the trout is still there, still rising against that deep bank. Next time I think I'll try a streamer on a slow swing through there. Or maybe a dead drifted Woolly Bugger. Or maybe a mealworm.
|Finally, a fish.|
|A wee bit older.|
|Okay, I took this on the way in. It was dark when I walked out.|
And I went another way so I wouldn't have to crawl through more
damn prickers. I'm too delicate.