Then fish like it’s March. I picked a new creek not realizing it would turn out to be the Holy Grail. You might be thinking what the… Holy Grail? Well, it hit me as I was hiking back to the car at the end of the day with a grin so big it would have probably made most want to puke. Best day in a long long time, everything just fell into place. I’ll be honest and brief, this is not a forum for political debate (those of you who know me know I am one to voice my opinions from time to time) but rather a place to document the things I see and to hopefully encourage others to go outside. I thought of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as I hiked the road back to my car, how the guy at the end of the movie picks the shiny perfect cup and ends up dead. Indy looks around the room and sees the Grail and recognizes it for what it is, perfect. This is how I felt about the creek I fished, it was a bit beat up around the edges, it wasn’t pristine or shiny but it was well off enough. I couldn’t drift a fly through every run because it hadn’t been touched by mans machines, it still had flood debris in just about every spot I wanted to fish but that’s the way I prefer it, with alittle character which makes it unique and challenging. I won’t say any more but I think those of you who know how I feel and also know what I’m referencing.
To the creek and the day. Warm 34degrees on arrival. Windy but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. Water temp was decent at 44 and gin clear, blue ocean clear in the deepest of holes. I thought about fishing a nymph but opted to see how a #8 Olive Sprinkle Me Baby would do, new creek and all I wanted to see as much as possible and fishing a streamer I tend to move more quickly. Midge were out early around 10am and by noon they were everywhere. Fish were rising in random locations but due to the water clarity and the success of the streamer I didn’t change my fly once. I also didn’t lose my fly despite several super snaggy locations where I should have.
As for the fishing, it was hot from the jump. With snaggy stuff I tend to fish down and in today it just worked. Seemed like all the larger fish wanted it first too. Again back to…if it feels like March…fish like it’s March. I landed 10 fish between 16-18inches long and another 2 dozen smaller than that easy throughout the day. Fish were in the fast riffles, in the deeper runs and in the deepest of pools all taking the streamer. I dead drifted my fly a handful of times and took fish but the big winner was a down and in approach or a swing which forced fish to make a choice. Water temp climbed up to 46 degrees as the day went on. All in all as I said earlier it was one of the best days on the creek I’ve had in a long while. Even got to watch a Bald eagle grab what I believe was a small possum about 30 yards in front of me on the edge of the corn field I was near. Everyone’s got to get theirs…
Before I finish this one out I’ll quickly run through the best fish of the day. Take note of the image and the location. Shallow, maybe 1.5feet deep with no additional cover except the slight ice shelf that had been. I placed said streamer at point X, let it drift through just for a second then once around the bend I stripped it twice resulting in exploding creek. Nicest fish of the day pushed 18inches and he didn’t want to come in without a fight. The warmer weather allowed me to land every fish in the creek and I didn’t have to handle them much. Look for these spots, seemingly insignificant but they tend to hold one nice fish. Given the speed of the water this is a perfect spot for a streamer, forces the fish to make a choice…Eat or not to eat, seems like a simple one to me. Other note worth events on the day: hiked for close to 8miles total, kept an average heart rate of 110 which is hard to do when your stopping to fish. Saw one of the largest beaver dams I’ve seen in quite a while and was equally surprised to have the fish holding in the dam as willing to smack a streamer drifted deep. This time of year the fish normally run for the hills when a streamer bomb drops on still water but not this day, it being as clear as it was I just waited until the white mouth opened and it was all over. Great March day in late January.