Sunday, November 28, 2021

Not a Repeat

It's hard not to keep going back to the same places to try and re-create your experiences, but we all know that isn't really how it works. Last week I went to a local stream and had a great time catching some really nice browns on a nymph rig, so this week I went back hoping to have the same type of day. After taking care of a few things around the house (not the big project of finishing the flooring in the basement though...) I ended up getting to the stream at almost the same time as last week. I decided to start where I'd left off with the same rig and on the same stretch. 

This week, other than a brief connection with a small fish, they weren't having anything to do with my black and copper zebra midge. I worked my way upstream where I spotted some rising fish in an almost dead still pool. I sat down, trying not to let the feeding fish distract me, and retied my leader to be longer and finer. A #16 Griffith's Gnat with an orange hot spot and a #20 Midge Parachute dropper got tied on. The time away from fishing was evident as I struggled to get the longer leader to go where I wanted it to, but eventually, I put my flies in front of a rising fish that didn't hesitate to inhale the Midge Parachute. The fight on 6x tippet had me holding my breath, especially when the fish somehow got wrapped up for a moment, but it didn't take too long before a nice-sized male brown trout was in the bottom of the net. 

It seems like the majority of the time that I find rising fish in this type of smooth water I only catch one or two before I've spooked the lot of them and either have to wait for them to come back or move to find new fish. Today, for whatever reason, the fish just kept feeding and if I was able to put my flies in front of them without throwing a shadow, or my fly line, over them I had a decent chance of getting a take. 

Getting a take doesn't mean that you've caught a fish, but it's a good start. The takes were slow and deliberate and by some miracle I was patient and waited for (most) the fish to close their mouths before setting the hook. I found myself whispering wait just before setting the hook deliberately, but not too fast or hard. Then, if I remembered to play them gently on the light tippet, I would end up with a fish in the net. 

All the fish seemed like they were in really good post-spawn shape and should winter over just fine. The days are short in the canyon, and by mid-afternoon, the temperature started to fall and the action slowed down. Rather than fight it or switch my setup back to a nymph rig I headed for the truck happy that the day wasn't a repeat of the last trip. 

Hope you're as lucky,

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Playing Hooky

I haven't written in a while. I know, but to be fair I also haven't been out too much either. The end of the summer was spent in my basement playing sheetrock games (there's a crazy story there, but now's not the time or place) and not out chasing fish. Hunting season came and went with only one close call, but I still suck with a bow and missed an elk at a ridiculously close range. Oh well. With all that behind me, I decided to skip out on working in my basement (flooring) and hit a local stream. The best news was Caden decided to join me! 

The stream in question is one that is pretty close to where we live and every time I fish there I wonder why I don't go more often. A beautiful stream, close to home, with some nice-sized fish in the mix. I guess I'm always looking for greener pastures. We arrived around mid-day and quickly hooked into a fish that almost as quickly freed himself from the hook, but it gave us the confidence to move upstream and make another go of it. We spotted some fish that were feeding at the bottom of a small riffle and in a spot where I usually find fish (I do fish here sometimes). It took a little doing, but eventually, the first fish fell for a black and copper Zebra Midge. 

Working our way upstream we came to another great pool and started to fish it. Caden was content playing with the camera while I changed flies and practiced casting. For some reason, another fisherman thought it would be okay to drop in right above us and start fishing. There isn't much stream to fish in this stretch and he parked right next to us, pretended that our day didn't matter, and started fishing above us. I was tempted to go let him know that he'd just pulled a jerk move, but instead, I caught a couple more fish and we walked back to our truck. 

We drove to another spot and found some very spooky fish, but I did manage to trick one more before Caden was too cold and we walked back to the truck. 

After letting Caden get into the truck I fished for a few more minutes just downstream where I could keep an eye on my boy. A couple more fish were anxious to eat a zebra midge and I finished out with the best fish of the day. 

I'm not sure why I haven't been getting out too much lately, but I plan to change that! I'll let you know if I do. 

Hope you're as lucky,