I spent the majority of the past two days fishing larger water with two guys who both love fishing for trout almost as much as me and enjoying a handful of one of my favorites, bell’s two hearted ale. Thursday I met up with Ryan and fished late into the evening finding a few gems among a bunch of light biting trout who we had to almost spoon feed streamers. This water is hard to fish. It’s snaggy and requires a lot of wet wading to get to spots you can cast from, with the warmer weather this is a perfect time to get out and search for larger fish before the jungle grows up around us. I missed a bunch of strikes but managed to land two nicer fish close to the end of the day with a down and in swing on two deep runs. This water is hit or miss and made me reflect on the perception of what a “good” stream is. How many times have I fished new water and either I didn’t know it well enough to fish it efficiently or the trout were just not on that day and as a result I mentally characterized the water as less than maybe what it truly is, or could be. Conversely I’ve had days on streams that are unbelievable and I continue to go back to that water over and over again in search of that day again without a reproduction of that initial day. I think my take away here is that it’s better to err on the side of caution and try a stream that is perceived to be less than great multiple times before writing it off completely and if you’ve gotten frustrated fishing water that isn’t what it once used to be then maybe move on and find new water but don’t forget about it and come back sometime later.
Day two…met up with a guy I fish with occasionally and is a known trout fanatic actually a stream trout fanatic. He currently fishes spinning gear and has been considering switching up to a fly rod to chuck streamers. He has gotten to a point in his career where fishing his current set up is maybe not as challenging as it once was. This guy knows his gear and how to maximize on that knowledge. We met earlier in the morning, dropped on vehicle off and hurried to start the day as we had a significant amount of water to cover, truth be told we could have easily taken the water covered between 9am-3pm and split it into three or more decent days of fishing but we have both been wanting to get back to this area as it’s been a very long time for either of us. A few casts in and we both knew it was going to be a good day. I would end up fishing the same black and blue Dirty Mop all day and I bet it landed close to or more than fifty brown trout. Cam switched between his tried and true olive jig and a orange Rapala for the deeper wide sections. We both did pretty well and he managed the larger trout on the day but I’m pretty sure I kept up well.
Caddis showed up around 11:30am in earnest and had trout rising regularly until 1pm but the streamer was still pulling trout up and with our desire to cover ground I never once switched my fly. Wet wading has never been so good. This was larger water full of deep pockets and seams separated throughout the channel, I was often found knee deep in the middle of the river chucking my fly down and across on a dark blue seam. The conditions on the day were perfect. Sun, 70’s and minimal wind for the most part. We enjoyed a few two hearted as reward for the effort the day required. I think it’s safe to say that this was one of the best days either of us had in quite a while. Although I missed a nicer high teens brown and Cam landed one pushing 18″ no monsters were found, the consolation was a ridiculous number of 10-14inch brown trout that readily hunted my streamer. Upstream dead drift casts worked but no where as well as a down and across presentation stripped right back up the middle and with a heavy fast sinking leader my fly stayed low in the fast water. I’m always astonished at how many trout hold in super fast water, or that are willing to swim through it to take a shot at my fly. We fished until we reached a section that receives significantly higher angler traffic at which point things cooled down in a hurry. We opted to call the day a success and high tailed it out to get me to volleyball on time. You know it’s going to be summer when sand volleyball season starts.