Monday, May 6, 2013

Scar and The Nose

I fished for stocked trout one night last week. I did pretty well as one with a modicum of skill is wont to do when uninformed, hungry trout mill about in a small steam. It was a stretch of water downtown where the state dumps a couple hundred trout before opening day. There are two good pools where the Opening Day crowd can retrieve those trout and they do so with a vengeance.

I stopped by the deli in town a week or so ago for a sandwich. It was one of those days when working from home became too claustrophobic and I had to get out. I ate my sandwich on a bank overlooking the stocked pool.

Freshly stocked fish have about as much sense as school children dropped unprepared in the middle of the African subcontinent. They do pretty much everything that a trout interested in long term survival should not do. There's far too much racing about, holding over a bottom that perfectly silhouettes[1] a trout shaped form, or trying to hold in a spot that requires far too much energy to stay in place.[2]

A couple of days later I returned for lunch and additional trout ogling. I noticed that the trout seemed to be congregated/racing in much the same place. I also noted that the number of fish had not diminished. none had yet landed on the dinner table. Anglers are drawn to the pool above this one and it seems the trout are drawn here.

There were a couple of trout the caught my eye. There was a crop of wild trout, notable for their diminutive size, that held tight to the bank in the shadows and did not try to eat flowers. In the heavier current at the tail of the pool a larger Brown with a scabbed hatchery-tank nose held in water that seemed to require more effort than he likely received in food. I don't think The Nose is long for this world.

Further up the pool was a Brown with a scar below his dorsal fin. Scar sat in front of a large boulder and flicked his tail just enough to stay in its soft cushion. Scar seemed to have a good feel for what was edible and what was not. If I didn't know better, and I didn't, I would think he was a wild fish. Scar got chased out of his prime lie every ten minutes or so by a larger fish but that fish didnt know that he had just boggarted a great thing and moved on. Scar sidled back a minute or so later.

Tonight I went out again to the pool I watched at lunch. Scar and The Nose where right where I had left them. I caught The Nose pretty quickly on an Adams Sparkle Dun. Upstream I marked the rock that Scar had been holding against. I made a couple of casts but Scar was having none of it. I caught a dozen other fish, but not Scar. That's one wily trout, wild or not.

Scar has a pretty sweet lie
Scar. Chilin'
Scar gettin' the brush off. He'll be back soon.
The Nose
The Nose showing off his moves.

1 - I spelled silhouettes without using spell check. Impressive.
2 - So as not to embarrass anyone I will not mention by name how many times I saw one particular trout sample forsythia flowers.


  1. Stocked trout just aren't very smart.

  2. Good stuff Z. I tie a pretty mean bittersweet berry for stocked rainbows. Sorry I missed the small stream gathering, next time. Awesome pics btw. John

    1. Yes, we'll have to fish soon. Those stocked trout are calling. :)

  3. A profile of the one who got away... brilliant! Do you make a habit of naming fish?