Trout water.Hit the water for two short but sweet hours this morning after I dropped Liz off from work. This stream has a very different personality than the previous stream I hit the last two times I went out. I love meeting water and figuring out all the angles. What am I finding in the water? Substrates? Macros? I look at everything and take mental notes and lots of pictures. I took the water temp on arrival, alittle higher than expected. I threw the leech on knowing I would have to have some good casts to land a fish here, this place was again crystal clear due to lack of rain.

I made some good casts with the marabou leech and took a nice fat brown. Made a few more and got strikes but couldn’t land two fish I had on, one of which I think was a brookie. I took bug samples finding this creek to have alot more mayfly nymphs of a variety I’m not 100% sure on at the moment. I will be researching and determining the species later.  I made another run at it with the leech but time was running out and obligations working on the yard and garden were calling. 

 

The morning fatty brown.

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The View

“Sweet-As” is what they say in New Zeland when you jump out of a plane at 12,000ft or go over a large waterfall in a raft, this is how I would describe my time on Friday. I took off early (this summer I plan on spending a few days on the water at 6am) and got to the site at 9am, alittle later than planed but just fine. I hiked in and started, first an assessment of the situation. Water temp was 42degrees and crystal clear. Low flows and a breeze with the barometer at 28.82 (I’m trying to take note of changes in the pressure to indicate hatching conditions). With this I figured nothing much would be happening for a while, to be expected.

Baetis Samples ph of 7.6/7.4 dsc06521

I took samples, a ton of Baetis just ready to blow, I also took a ph sample for my records. I rigged up the pink patrick with a smalled Baetis trailer and headed downstream to fish the section I knew. Made some good casts, really starting to love my roll cast and I’m looking forward to an 8’6″ rod when the time comes. Didn’t get much and decided to switch to a marabou leech and move upstream. First run I sent it through pulled a smaller brown, I knew I was onto something. The cooler water temps I think kept the fish from moving for a strike unless the meal was worth the effort. Going big was the ticket biding my time until conditions were right.

dsc06609 Brown Trout on the Fly dsc06591

The Rock WallI moved upstream out of Dinosaur land and into the head water section of this stream. I’d been saving this for just this moment, my first day of the beginning of the rest of the season. Brilliant! So many excellent options for fish, runs, pools around every turn. I worked upstream fishing the leech pulling a few here and there, took a nice fat male brown and at least one over 16″. I made it finally to what I am going to refer to as “The Wall”. I just took pictures and looked around, I hadn’t seen anything like it and my pictures don’t do it justice. I could have fished it but I just figured I’d save it for another day. I hiked back out.

 

 

 

Baetis, BWO

Picked trash on my way and made good time. I decided to stop at a favorite spot and I tried the leech again, nothing. Again, nothing. Hmmm….oh yea…water temp. 48 degrees, Baetis. Sure enough just as I was pulling the thermometer from the drink I saw one float past. The trout had keyed in on the Baetis and knowing they could get an easy meal sitting in feeding lanes there was no incentive to strike my leech anymore. This was awesome, I stood and watched them wriggle out of their shucks and float on the surface. I took some excellent photo’s and just watched the bugs, both midge and Baetis coming off, this was at exactly 1:23pm. I spent too much time standing in the middle of the hatch taking pictures and samples I actually ran out of time to fish it and headed out but I was very pleased with the day. It was fun enough to stand in the middle of the hatch with fish surfacing around me. I hiked out at 2:20pm, felt good to fish this again. Sweet-As.

dsc06776

Brown Trout on a #18 BWO, photo by Heath Sershen

BWO Hatched around 3:00pmOn this day I woke with a smile knowing after I took the dogs out for a long run I would have the rest of the day to fish. Sershen took me to a spot of his that he has been frequenting for quite a while I would imagine. South we travelled in my beat up rusty pickup. We arrived at the stream at about 1pm. Upon seeing rising trout I rigged up a #18 BWO dry flythat I tied recently, Sershen rigged a #18 Parachute Adams with a Zugbug trailer. We took turns casting dries to feeding trout and we both came up successful. After about thirty minutes the trout seemed to hold up and stopped rising. Taking an initial water temp of ~50 we waited and watching hoping that as the sun helped raise the water temp that we might catch a few BWO’s coming off.

Baetis NymphsWhile we waited for a water temp above 52 we picked rocks and strained the contents. Flipping two small rocks over exposed many Baetis nymphs ready to emerge. We waited and watched enjoying t-shirt weather the entire time. As time passed we stood in the water able to see the shucks from emerging flies floating past. We found a few BWO’s and Hennies as the afternoon progressed. At 3:30pm the water temp was 52.5 degrees making for ideal conditions for hatching BWO’s. Unfortunately we did not see rising trout and so we both decided to switch to streamer patterns. I chose my trusty Marabou Leech and moved from run to hole. After casting a #18 dry fly the streamer seemed clunky but it worked. I pulled a few more brown trout from the depths including a nice 16in trout that fought like a log. 

Brown Trout

As we fished we were accompanied by an old beagle that was content just to sit and watch. He followed up the entire length of the stream we fished. As we returned to our original spot we noticed rising trout again, I quickly switched back to my BWO dry fly and on the second cast picked up another brown. I worked my way up the stream but in my haste I think I spooked the trout. I fished until I was confident I wasn’t going to pick up another trout. I really enjoyed studying the water anticipating a hatch. 

Trout Hole         Trout Hole on the Far Side of the Seam         Low Flows

Having only a few hours to fish and knowing that I had yet to feel that wonderful tug from a trout in a while I decided to fish the creek that helped me start fly fishing. I know all the riffles, runs and pools on this stream. I know where the fish hold and I believe I know where the best feeding stations are at most places on the stretch I fish. 

Black StoneflyI set out to see if I could find fish in my favorite run but alas like two days before there were no fish to be found. I find this to be quite puzzling, and I will be returning to monitor this spot for signs of trout. I continued on and decided that due to cooler water temps (~44) I would fish a Marabou leech thinking that unless I saw trout rising to midge that a Leech of significant size i.e. calories would entice a trout to strike. I remember approaching a wide open slow moving pool to watch a lone fly bounce across the water, too big to be a midge, so I chased it down. I somehow managed to capture what turned out to be a larger black stonefly. I had seen these crawling in the snow a few weeks earlier, the exact same color and everything just one third the size.

Brown Trout on a Marabou Leech

After seeing trout strike at the stonefly I decided to run my leech across the pool to see what I could come up with, I did this rather than turning to a dry fly imitation because a. there were no other flies around and b. I only saw one surface strike. This made me think the trout were active but with no other flies I didn’t think I would get anywhere with a dry imitation.

Brown Trout on the FlyI managed to get several strikes, with the water so clear I could watch little trout follow the leech practically to my feet. Finally, after a few days of missing the tug I set the hook and had a nice 12in brown on the line. I ended up landing two more before moving on to another hole. I got one more on the marabou leech and then decided I needed to head in. A short but sweet moment in time, hunting trout.

             Black Leech tied by W.F.F.

Marabou Leech:

  • Hook:6-8 Streamer
  • Black Bead Head
  • Tail/Body: 1 Black/Brown Marabou Feather

I have had great success with 1 or 2 strands of krystal flash in the tail as well as the addition of a partridge soft-hackle collar.

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