Feb. 16th Hole Hopping

February 17, 2009

Ice Art

Trout StreamStarted my day on the water just after 10am hoping that the weather would cooperate with me. It, however, did not and I found myself fishing under cloudy skies with the wind a blowin’ right at me in most instances. This could be discouraging but I dressed warm and although my knees hurt at the end of the day I had a good time on the water. The first thing I noticed was the drastic water level difference on this (one of my favorite) stream between the summer level and now. With low flows the stream trickled from hole to hole which is where the trout are so this is hole hopping! I should also note that the water had cleared significantly from a week ago when this stream all the way to the source was a chocolate mess.

Trout HoleI started at the first hole and got about twelve holes in before hitting the end of the winter boarder. This, by the way, is way better than any round of golf, even in overcast, windy, 24 degree weather. I swung a scud with a midge trailed and got no where. Assessing the situation I moved away from the scud/midge and went to a #8 Black Marabou Leech. I’m not too experienced with swinging heavier weighted patterns with my 4wt but I figured got to get to the fish and that means down deep, practice is good too so a leech launching I went. Tiny TroutIt just so happens that today I would catch my first trout on a streamer pattern. The first fish made me laugh and I stopped to take it in. Slightly larger than a sardine you would find at the store but much more to look at. I smiled and sent it swimming. I could see that this was going to work. I found that I would get strikes right after the leech hit the water and it sank for just a second. I lost a few opportunities to take a fish due to the inexperience I had with this situation. I ended up loosing two or three that displayed some areal acrobatics which aided in there escape from my barbless hook.

Brown on a Mini Leech

Where's all the water?I spent the cold weather leech launching into the wind and trying to get used to casting a heavier pattern. I picked up one more on my way from one winter border to the other. After taking in the entire section of winter fish-able stream I headed back to try my luck at two of the beginning holes. I took a few casts and sure enough missed one right as it struck after it just hit the water, I went back for more. I saw a flash, clearly a fish turning around, I set the hook and with that I had what I came for, a fight! This log didn’t jump once but sure did test my resolve, I was fishing with 7x tippet, in retrospect I will tie on 5x for the marabou leech but I was pleased when I pulled him out. I said hi, took my picture and sent him on his way. He ruined the hole for me and seeing the time I headed out. At 1:15pm I got to the truck to turn around and see parting skies and sunshine. I still caught a great fish and fought the poor weather to do so.

Brown Trout

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6 Responses to “Feb. 16th Hole Hopping”

  1. I got this weekend to get some handling in. See you in class tonight.

  2. Nice fish man. Beautiful brown. Glad you got out.

  3. winonaflyfactory said

    Me too, poor weather or not. I’m glad I’m learning to adapt to the situation and catch a trout consistently. Thanks for the hooks, I liked the bag, ummmm glove. I know what those are for, I had to laugh some. I questioned the jars, and if they had to do with the MPCA stuff, or the art Lohman stuff?

  4. Vials for collecting bugs.

  5. Stino –

    We may have a noob with us this weekend. I just want to get out and maybe pick some watercress for lunch. We will need to re-up our hotdog supply. Friday looks good for me, so does Saturday and Sunday. You can buy the gas.

    H

  6. Curt said

    Great photos and write up man. You’ve got me revved for the WI opener in a few weeks. CR

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