Feb. 4th, 2011: More Stones

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  • Onstream Arrival: ~11:15am Departure: ~3pm
  • Arrival Air Temp: ~15degrees Departure: ~20
  • Wind: ~10mph from the South
  • 2:1 TB Stonefly to Midge Ratio at ~12:30pm
  • #18 Orange Hot Spot Scud/#12 Hairball (Tan)

Of the four hours we were on stream well over half was spent trudging through thigh deep snow sinking close to your knees even with snowshoes. The 4-6inches of powder coating the under-snow made for a slow and challenging hike upstream for the day. We arrived and observed little trout activity but seeing a few midge in the snow I rigged a #18 Orange Hot Spot Scud. We chose maybe not the best stream to fish as the wind was coming from the south and we chose a north/south valley. Forced to deal with the wind we kept moving for the most part fishing each spot for a few minutes and moving on. The sun peeked through only a few times for brief moments making the day.

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Close to 2pm I spent twenty glorious minutes fishing a #20 Wilted Spinach to a small pod of rising trout. Although I lost the only strong take I had it was a challenging approach and it felt good just to earn the strike. To fool the weary trout. As soon as the sun left it was back to hiking through thick woods in deep ass snow to see more of a stream I had never fished before. A good reason to fish it quickly, get a feel for it and take a few mental notes. 1st, lots of very shallow areas with rocky substrate. The afternoon was filled with nothing but Tiny Black Stoneflies crawling through the snow. This was the largest emergence of this insect I have witnessed. I took note of the shallow areas and tried to steer clear so as to keep from disturbing the deeper sections keeping frantic trout from agitating the feeding pods. 2nd, the rocks clearly said Caddis. 3rd, find any habitat improvement areas. I ended up swapping back to the #18 OHS Scud for the majority of the afternoon. I lost a few to snags and fished a couple deeper locations with a #12 Hairball (Tan) getting a strong strike from a brown as I basically jigged my fly through a deep run. The day ended with a long hike down and out of the woods. The sun, absent most of the day, kissed our shoulders as we exited.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the consistent updates, Justin. I will be heading down Whitewater way this weekend…maybe spin up a few little black stones for the fly box. Love the hatch info you provide.

    avatar Paul
  2. Glad you swung that WS. I’ve been thinking about that lately.

    What is the appropriate response when a guy finds those black stones in the snow? Is it worth fishing any particular pattern? I’ve never really given it much though. Tend to focus on the midges and use WS.

  3. Shane, didn’t see any beaver dams. When I do find them I take note and call the Fisheries staff and let them know. They promptly removed one I sent a report about last March.

    Paul, glad I can provide useful resource information for others. Good luck on the WW.

    Wendy, The WS needed to make an appearance. It probably should have already seen water but I’ve been too stubborn to tie it on.

    With the stones in the snow. I guess there is debate as to if its possible to present a fly to trout hunting these emerging stones up. They crawl through the shallows and emerge often right at the waters edge. You really don’t have much opportunity to fish a “dry” fly but maybe a lightly weighted Black Stonefly Nymph would do the trick on a LONG leader with a fine fine tippet 6X minimum. Since you are trying to target the very shallows your leader is going to affect the fish that much more. Maybe presenting the fly straight upstream maybe 2 feet from the waters edge on a very slow drift, have to be careful not to send the fish hiding before you make a cast. Difficult. That or approach from across the stream casting up at an angle maybe trying to get your flies within inches of the opposite edge and bring it downstream and into that 2feet from the edge target zone. Something to think about. Sounds like something I’d be up for. I should work on this for next season if not yet this winter.

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