I fished from ~11:30am-3pm yesterday and lucked into two factors that made the day. I arrived at my given location to find a seriously large heard of cattle crowding one bank. I spied the water and noted it was stained but with only that medium stain where you could still see a blue tint to the water, no brown. My only concern was the large number of cattle and with most of the adults were calves, getting between them…not a good idea. Luckily they were concentrated on the one bank that I didn’t plan to fish from in the first place. First couple cast brought out fish each time, the third brown I caught came from an under cut bank that I made four casts on prior to getting the last one right. You have to keep going until you’re confident that you got the cast you wanted. The first two fell to far from the bank and the third cast fell too far back. I needed a cast that was high and tight to the bank to see if anyone was holding way at the head. When I finally got the right cast given the trees above and other obstacles this beautiful specimen came charging out.
Upstream and maybe forty-five minutes later I was past the cattle, the creek reverted to gin-clear status and plenty spooky. At about this time I saw the skies change to a darker color in the distance and I felt the first few sprinkles. I wasn’t expecting rain but if it came I would welcome it. Starting pretty light and picking up steam over the next two hours the fishing was excellent, from 1:30-2:30pm I fished in excellent conditions. Moderate rain which broke up the water surface but didn’t cause any sort of adverse effects. I was soaked to the bone but when the fishing is good you just keep going. I landed a bunch of browns ranging from 8-14″ or so. Nothing enormous showed up but when trout are crushing your fly it’s a good day. I’ve been fishing a Blue and White #6 Dirty Mop I’ve been tying and I have to admit I’m very impressed, this fly just catches fish.
The rain stopped and I wrung myself out a bit then started hiking back downstream to my car. As I approached my vehicle I remembered a short section I skipped as a result of the cattle and now they were in a different pasture. I opted to cut back to hit the two spots I passed due to the cattle. Second cast and I caught a brown that was pushing 14-15″. This fish had the look, like it was going to grow up to be a beast. Blue on his face and he was showing shoulders already. I was glad to see this fish come from water that I’ve long considered less than stellar. Things can change around here, upland watershed practices can degrade a stream in a hurry but a few changes and things downstream can turn around quickly. I’m hoping that is perhaps what I’ve been noticing on this stream over the past few years. Soaked and smiling I headed out for the day. As I pointed out on an Instagram post…rules to live by. 1. Do unto others. 2. Fish in the rain. 3. Sausage for breakfast. 4. No participation medals.