Monday, May 23, 2016

Great Day in the Morning

I haven't been getting out too much lately with all the end of the school year stuff that seems to get in the way (including helping the Wife get her garden ready for Summer). So writing on the blog has taken a bit of a backseat with the hopes that once school's out fishing will resume and writing will follow. Looking back through my notes I realized that I didn't share one of my early morning solo trips from about a month ago. So, if you're not into history you might want to just skip the rest of this post, but if you like hearing about, and seeing crappy pictures, of fish it could be worth your time to read on...

Late Friday night I made up my mind to hit a stream in the morning. Atley was having a sleepover with a friend at our house but I still invaded the 'party' downstairs to tie up a dozen flies that my boxes always seem to run out of then went to bed early dreaming of big browns slamming woolly buggers in the pre-dawn light. 

When I got out of my car the first thing I noticed was how freakin' cold it was! I'm talking ice in the guides, two sweatshirts, why did I do this to myself, cold. In fact, it was cold enough to turn my felt bottom boots into skis on the frosted grass that made me fall so fast I had to sit there a minute and try to figure out what had happened. Luckily, the fish were awake so it seemed worth it.

A great beginning!
I seemed more sluggish than usual and managed to miss three good hits out of one hole (or maybe it's normal and I just suck...). I just tried to keep moving and cover as much water as I could before the sun came up and fishing would go back to how it usually is (still pretty good, by the way).

Chunky fish
Once the sun was up I switched to a dry & dropper and started moving back upstream picking up a few fish while retracing my steps. I still tried to move quickly since last time I was fishing this stream I'd spotted a really nice fish and wanted to see if I could get him in for a photo opp. (read about the first meeting HERE)

Caught quite a few about like this

I love how colorful they get here
Once I reached the pool where I thought the lunker lived, I fished it pretty hard but only made connections with some smaller fish. I slowly worked my way up to the top of the pool, staying on my knees in hope of not spooking any, when a nicer fish showed and I managed to get him all the way in this time!

Dig the orange!
Love 'em and leave 'em
The day was more than a success with several nice fish landed and many others to fill in the blanks, so I headed back to the car. On the walk back (which always takes so much longer than it seemed to while fishing) I couldn't help but think about the fish that I had missed first thing in the morning. Switching back to the black bugger that I'd started with I fished a few of the deeper holes on the way back down stream until I made it back to where the fish had eluded me in the pre-dawn light. A couple came to play but for the most part re-fishing the stream went exactly the way it should've until I found myself at the deep hole where I'd almost been productive.

The first few casts didn't bring any interest and I was about to call it a day when I had a really hard hit on a slow retrieve. The fish went nuts, running upstream, under the bank, to the bottom of the hole then started to take me downstream but I kicked it into high gear to get in front of him and keep him where I figured the fight would be in my favor. This fish didn't seem to know that brown trout didn't jump, and tried several times to lose me in the air before finally coming to the net. Too bad he wouldn't fit! I ended up having to tail him and used the net to try and keep him wet while getting my camera out. He was too big for me to hold in the usual way and get a decent picture!

Big and Beautiful

A personal best brown for me was definitely a great way to end a spectacular day of fishing! I ended up getting home earlier than I usually do (probably because I'd gotten up so early). Writing this up now I realize that I've only been back to this stream once since this day, maybe a return trip is overdue! 

Hope you're as lucky,


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