Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Earning It

Sometimes falling asleep isn't as easy as it should be, like when you can go fishing in the morning but haven't figured out where. The usual haunts are always good options but a new spot might work out to be even better, so the argument goes on in your head until you've stayed up much too late. Then, more often than not, you end up sleeping in and eliminating so many of the options that you had considered. Pretty much how I decided to hit up one of the local streams this morning on the search for my first fish of the year. 

The morning (yes, it was still morning. I only slept in a little) was warmer than it has been lately and there was even some good cloud cover that I thought would help the fishing. So anxious to get on the water I put my waders on at the house so I wouldn't have to waste any time once I arrived. Good thing too, since the first two hours of fishing yielded zero fish. No hits, no fish spotted, nada. I started out using the dependable black Wooly Bugger only to find the fish weren't interested. I had figured that might be the case while I was not sleeping the night before, so I put on the nymph indicator rig to try and dredge something up. I tried every fly, in every color and/or size that I thought would get rid of the skunk to no avail. 

Heading back to the car, tail between my legs, I spotted what would surely turn this day around, a rising fish! Off came the nymphs and I set about rebuilding my leader to make better use of the small dry fly. I chose a red Zebra Parachute in a size 20 since I wasn't seeing the fish's nose when it ate and hoped this would be a good emerging pattern. The first cast splashed a little more than the fish liked because I had forgotten to take off the strike indicator! I may have been a little excited at the prospect of my first fish being caught on a dry. Off came the indicator as I waited for the fish to show himself again. Once he had come back and eaten a couple of times I risked a cast. Perfect! The fish ate after the fly had only floated down current a few inches and I set the hook. Somehow, the perfection ended there as the fly came free without so much as a hitch and right into a tree. As I tied on a new fly the fish showed himself again and I had another shot. Another good cast was met with another good eat and I tightened the line to feel the weight of the fish for a moment before he came loose...

I figured it was a done deal as I made my way back to the car. There were no more risers in sight. I put the wooly bugger back on just to try one of the spots before calling it a day. No sooner said than done, I had the first fish of the year in hand. A quick pic and release and my fishing year was underway. 
Hope you're as lucky,

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