Sunday, February 19, 2012

This has been one of the mildest winters I’ve ever lived through (an increasingly impressive figure).  Even today while the snow is falling heavily outside my house, it’s not really cold.  There also seems to be a feeling of confidence that soon the snow will be gone and spring will come early.  This has been helped along by rumors of Blue Winged Olives already hatching.  In that spirit of confidence I took two rods fishing with me yesterday.  I made both of the rods in question, and I really do like them even if they are so very different.  The 8 ½’ four-piece has a slow action, and seems to lack the backbone to muscle fish in quickly (which is why I love it for small streams).  But it casts nicely, and makes it easy to cast all day.  The 9’ two-piece was the first rod I made, and was the rod of choice until I finished the 4 piece.  It has a fast(er) action, so it’s easier to cast for distance but it seems to wear me out faster.  It’s odd to me how different they really are considering they’re both five weight rods, both made from blanks by the same company, and both wrapped by me.  The purpose behind bringing two rods was to try out Ed Engle’s advice (check ou his article in the Winter 2012 issue of the Flyfishing & tying Journal ) and rig one up for nymphs and one for dry fly.  It sounded like a great idea, and with the midge and perhaps even Blue Winged Olive hatches imminent, it seemed practical.  So I rigged up two rods, one with a size 16 Red Copper John followed by a size 18 pheasant tail, the other rigged for surface action with a Griffiths Gnat followed by a Midge Emerger.  As a side note, I need more size 18 hooks, because that’s the only size that seems to be working for me lately, and it’s been working particularly well when a Bead-Head Pheasant Tail is tied to it.

I'm ready for these to hatch!
 I had some good action pretty much all day on the nymph rig as long as I fished the edges of the main current and managed a good dead drift.  The fish only seemed to be in the deeper holes and only right on the bottom.  Adjusting depth for each hole was easy with my new indicators I’ve been tying up lately.  I should’ve known better than to actually expect any type of dry fly action when fishing on the Diamond Fork River in central Utah, it almost never materializes for me.  There was a light midge hatch on and off throughout the day, but the fish never seemed to notice.  That, of course, made the second rod a hassle to carry along with me, and I ended up setting it down at the bottom of each run or hole and then having to walk back down river to retrieve it after fishing.  I had to constantly keep reminding myself to go back for it, as I’ve been to known to be a little forgetful.  Spring really is on the way, I flipped a couple of rocks to see what was cookin' and saw several different sized mayfly nymphs, cased caddis, and a couple of stonefly nymphs that all seemed very active.  This river seems way more alive than the one I was on a few weeks ago.

Sometimes, as it was on this trip, the fishing needs to be secondary to thinking through and trying to work out problems.  On good days the fishing can actually push the issues at hand out of my mind, in which case I figure they weren’t important enough to worry about anyway.  However, if the issue isn’t resolved by the end of the trip, it just means that I ‘have’ to go again.  On that note, I think I’ll be going again tomorrow.  Not sure if I’ll take two rods…