Saturday, December 10, 2016
Spent Friday afternoon helping a guy bring out a deer. My soon to be 73 year old Dad hunted all 15 days of firearms season without decent shot at any of the few legal bucks sighted. Then, never missing a beat, continued the chase with black powder.. which opened day after regular firearms closed. Not on our home farm either, but public lands open to all.. his self imposed handi-cap. Mostly along the river ridges and bottoms south of home. The area is made up from miles of country where trail roads are few and houses non existent. Yesterday afternoon his amassed hours must have reached the needed total and this deer appeared. Behind him. First buck he's ever shot left handed. My respect for his skills and drive to hunt continues to grow with no sign of slowing.
I get the vibe he thinks I'm somewhat nuts to pursue Steelbows in this kind of weather.. I feel the same about late season deer hunting (smiling)
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
My Friend Scott ties a nice fly and is a certified Brown Trout addict. Last fall he got pretty enthused about tying Tommy Lynch's "Drunk and Disorderly" which he did, in quantities, and VERY nicely. Along with some of Blaine Chocklett's stuff.
He picked off a couple quite nice fish in December (December!) on the Upper River where he lives. I was occupied chasing Steelbows.. if not a more sane activity certainly more acceptable (smiling)
|12-07- Bad ass fish ~ Sweet tie!|
The location of his second fish you might recognize if your familiar with our home river.. It's name to the old school folks is "Muskamoo" and was fairly significant location. You can read about it in The Legend of Rainbow Jim by Orie Wells if your fortunate enough to find a copy.
This spring we started hitting it seriously in May. John Haye's took one that exceeded 20" on May 21
Interestingly, this pic was shot in the mouth of the trib (one of two) that my Dad introduced to me at age nine. Where I fished on my own from the bank of a GIANT lake sized beaver dam (age 10) and sighted two Brookies cruising that were easily 20" class fish.. This while Dad was sawing giant white pine standing timber for "Brookie Bill" Coster.. Rainbow Jim's son. Also the tributary that gave me my largest Brook Trout to date.. 18" at age 18 and fresh out of high school while bumming around with one of my oldest friends, Son (his nick name)
On 05-23 I got my first good dry fly fish with the Scott G 803-3 pulled from mothballs and fresh line.. my own hand tied 5x leader. There's a blog article from 05-25 on this one.
Early June brought some seriously grand dry fly fishing. On morning of the 7'th we got going in darkness.. and got off in darkness! 15 1/2 hours of solid fishing! Started out as Streamer focus with nothing to show for it over first few hours. I broke the tip of my GLX 1087 Classic attempting to dislodge a fly so was additional buzzkill. Another hour or so later we began seeing risers. It only got better and more intense! An ALL DAY emergence! Comical as the only dry flies on board were 2 #14 spinners and 1 parachute. I later found a Sz 16 parachute in my waders. VERY fortunate to have a spare spool with 6wt dry line. The three #14 flies were DESTROYED, chewed to bits! We got into a nice pod that turned out to be almost all Brook Trout, couple nice ones in the mix, one approaching 14" mark that came unbuttoned right at the boat.
Downstream a bit Scott began working on a sporadic riser. He is determined caster, I would have gave up long before he did.. Eventually he hooked up, it was a 15" - 16" Rainbow.. a rare anomaly for this location and era. We then came into a section with multiple good fish feeding, couple of better ones in the mix. Hooked and landed a few with one better than average apiece.
There were still some decent bugs coming towards evening and we worked over several fish, some in crazy impossible feeding stations right up in the giant wood jams.
One I got to go came unbuttoned while I was powering him out as he THRASHED the surface. Later inspection revealed the hook had broken.. we surmised from being wrestled by forceps so many times during prior removals.
Scott had lost a good fish earlier due leader failure he swore was one of the heaviest of the day. Naturally I pooh poohed him for exaggerating a fish long gone with no way of saying (or proving) otherwise. Truth of the matter was we were so drunk on the amount and quality of the fishing that we'd never re-tied or thought to inspect the leader.. even after a decent brown wrapped it in submerged wood and could only be dislodged by getting out of the boat and putting a different angle on him. The REAL pain was about to come.. as we drifted quietly in the dusk through some slower frog water there was a killer rise tight to the opposite bank. The kind that give you a dose of adrenaline.. calculated, assertive, and yet subtle all at the same time.. From the kind of a spot that screams "GOOD fish". I backed the boat up quietly and he made the perfect first shot cast while still moving. Same cool confident rise took the fly down.. and exploded into action on the set. Fish tore downstream like the runaway he was and sickeningly the rod sprang vertical as the leader parted. That was difficult.. then began the easing into a good rant concerning a certain brand of tippit (mine) even went so far as to say it wouldn't be allowed on board his boat anymore.. I just laughed and told him he'd get pretty lonely with no one to talk too.. plus all my knots had held throughout the day ..lol..
I picked up the Streamer rod, we didn't even bother tying the last #16 parachute on.. It wasn't that far down to the access, maybe half an hour and I just thought it wise to fish it on out rather than power row. Once again it was about to be illustrated just how important not giving up or calling it quits before the actual end is. All but in sight of the truck I put the fly down in a small defined pocket along the bank with drowned wood both sides.. second strip got blasted HARD and instantly hooked up. What a way to finish such an already stellar day! My new Streamer "personal best".
On 06-10 my old friend Son and I made a float. The weather forecast was a little bit shaky but there was one constant for everything I found. .03 (3 tenths) of an inch rain MAXIMUM. That didn't sound to threatening so decided to risk it.
We have matching Orvis 8'6" 4wts and both traditional spring / pawl reels, great little rods. The clicker reels provide a more direct relationship with the fish in addition to enjoying classic equipment.
Just as the sun dropped into the tree line we were easing up on one of my favorite spots. I dropped the anchor and not 2 minutes passed when a decent trout rose within easy casting range. Son poked a few casts out but he did not return.. another rise a short distance below so we dropped to it. Within a couple casts the fish took and he was hooked up with the spring pawl reel screaming.. unfortunately the connection severed. On inspection the hook had broken. How odd that seemed, years and years of fishing without ever occurring and now twice in the same week. Not so sure his flies didn't rust lightly in the foam box.. told him he needed to fish more often! Another trout, this one back in the brush of a shrub leaning out over the surface. Cast above, nice upstream roll mend, fly tracking perfect ..sip.. he's on and charging downstream my reel screaming pretty good. Same scenario, rod springs straight.. hook did not break, just pulled out.
It's right at this point that we both notice the BLACK sky coming at us fast. We reel up break down and stow the rods, secure / stash whatever needed it and left rowing hard. By rights we should have had another 1 1/2 hours of daylight.. Did not work out that way. Had about 20 minutes of eerie low light darkness before the first drops hit. Was granted about another 10 minutes before the lightning picked up with some thunder boomers. Not long after the rain started coming in sheets.. sideways. Finally I broke down and had him hold the light, which luckily I had the foresight to put in. Without it the trip down would have been impossible, and there was talk of leaving the boat and walking out, but no phone on hand and miles to reach any road traveled at all. We pressed on.. 2 1/2 hours through that stuff, the lightning getting so intense for a bit to LIGHT UP everything for 2 - 3 seconds with simultaneous deafening thunder.. not a good feeling. We finally reached the vehicle and had a bit of an incident getting the boat in, the oar came loose and took a couple seconds to correct, in that amount of time we'd overshot a bit with no way of rowing back up, current rips pretty good through there and definitely NOT wadeable Getting out on the bank we were able to remove the anchor and line the boat back up, dodging trees on STEEP banked rain slick ground in the dark.. fun times! The good news being the light had lived through entire trip, something I worried over all the way out. It was dimming hard as we tied down the boat..
Crazy as it seems we had an almost exact evening a couple years prior, right down to almost dumping the (lighter) boat on the take out, it to had major amount of water inside and river was RIPPING. Another year or so prior to that we fished during one of the worst storms in quite a while, downed trees, flooding etc.. BUT that time we had one of the best evening / nights of fishing ever! Storms, you gotta love em.. or not!
The next day I went out to take care of the boat. It was flooded above both front and rear decks! 3 tenths of an inch maximum.. Meteorologists (disdainful facial expression) ..enough said.
On 06-12 and 13 I made evening bushwhack missions into a couple select spots hoping for a spinner fall. This style is not for everybody.. Crashing through thick vegetated river flats crisscrossed with down timber, ripe with Poison Ivy. In HEAVY humidity with all your gear on is not for the meek or weak.. but it can be a good way to do a little head hunting. I took a good fish each night, the one from the 12'th a little better but no decent pic.
|06 - 13 - 16|
06-15 Scott and I made another float. We got a late start.. and still managed 12 1/2 hours. Pretty much a recap of 06 - 07, good amounts of dries with fish willing to take. FAR better prepared on the dry fly front all the way around, flies and rods. Pretty fun taking turns casting risers. Towards dusk the dry fly rods were stowed and Streamers now the focus. You could almost feel electricity in the air, a tense and expectant aura. Going into a specific bend that's particularly juicy I mention to Scott of good fish from the past sighted and encountered on this very bend.. Fly is sunk deep and swimming through the gut and mid story I get clobbered by a heavy head shaking fish. Luck is with us and she's soon in the net. My heaviest Streamer fish to date! Prior personal best broken only a week after the fact.. This fish is in another category all together, her girth is staggering. Hard to handle her briefly for a couple pics she's that out sized, makes my hands look small.
Scott picks up the rod and starts casting as it continually darkens. Only a few minutes have gone by when he has a good fish take a swipe at the fly without hook-up. We continue along at peace with the world, our day is cloud 9 already. Shouted exclamation from him as another NICE fish shows itself and attempts to eat the fly with no luck. Wow.. it is one of the ultra rare and elusive windows that open and for some yet unknown reason the big fish just go on the feedbag. Getting quite dusk now and just above a tight technical narrow spot created by fresh downed giant Ash tree. you guessed it, third one is the charm and he's hooked up solid, rod bucking like crazy! We slide into the chute him doing his best to keep the fish out of the drowned wood, me all I can do to keep the boat somewhat on track. Couple times his rod tip or line were under oar path creating tense moments for me. We came through in fine shape though, boat under control and fish still on but up gator rolling and thrashing in the surface on a tight line. Fortunately he buried the rod tip and fed him some line saving the day. Not long after I slid him into the net.. beautiful male, still full of attitude.
On 06-20 Scott once again defies the norm.. and comes up with a fantastic resident Rainbow (21") I can count on hands the Rainbows I've caught with none of them notable size. Must be something with the name "Scott" since my old (different) friend Scott "I" seemed to just 'find' them as well.. or do they find them?
I'll finish with pics from the Hex hatch.
On 06-26 we took four 20" class fish from same bend in 1 - 1.5 hour time span. A lot of people would never believe that number of trophy class fish would live or be that close together.. but they can and do.
Scott 06 - 28 - A rare red phase male.. 21"
Scott 06 - 30 - Hex Spinnerfall victim
Last Saturday (07-16) we met at 3:00 a.m. and dumped the boat in for a try at fishing big surface wakers. Early in Scott had one pop hard on his fly but no hook-up.. then nothing. I was up front as daylight came on and continued with confidence fishing the surface bug.. but nothing came and confidence waned. Picking up the Streamer rod we continued down through. What a great morning, misty and intermittent sprinkles but not uncomfortable. Casting into some parallel submerged wood around 30" depth on second strip I saw something coming.. it was a good fish. He slowly eased upstream about 4' then shot like a rocket the final six feet to the fly and crashed it in full on kill mode. VERY cool to be treated such a showing. The furthest I've yet to see one move / come to the fly. Several more fish were moved before we had to get out. Condition were so fantastic we decided to bite off another short section, but made complicated by the bridge crossing being torn out. Turns out we should have just kept fishing and dealt with it later. The momentum we'd built carried through another 45 minutes and multiple fish moved, but began to wane as the skies cleared and the sun began peeking through. About the time we were moving into the area KNOWN to hold giants it was out in full force and scorching. Hind sight is 20/20..
I've had the luxury of fishing Scott's flies 90% plus so far this season. He has ruined me on the junk I've fished for years, destroying confidence in them.. Or rather the fish have!
Hope fully more to come..
Saturday, June 4, 2016
|The road less traveled.. barely room for a truck to pass under those leaners.|
Over winters deepest extremes I can't help but look ahead towards spring. With sincere full intentions of giving serious attempt toward numerous different extremely viable options. May is a crazy month.. with so much diversity it would be impossible to actively pursue all of them. I still wish I'd do better with following through on at least 30% of the mental itinerary.
I did wake up at 4:00 a.m. not long ago and instead of fluffing up the pillow and turning over leaped ..well, rose slowly.. with the thought that it should be a good day to try a little hidden backwoods gem I used to spend a lot of time on with rod and gun both. It was one of my all to rare "smart moves"
Even getting a boat on it requires considerable effort. Back in the day the only way possible was two guys, both in hip boots, cursing between coughs from inhaling mosquitos as they drug a boat 150 feet through deep treacherous peat muck interlaced with dead cedar limbs. Over the last two decades a sort of 'hillbilly' boardwalk has been implemented, mainly from old pallets and scrap lumber. I bet there's 6' or more of old pallet base supporting the current deteriorating ones above the muck. Not a place for the meek white tennis shoe crew. On the plus side it see's decidedly less pressure than most fishing lakes with a 'civilized' access and more importantly ..the modern boat launch.
I tried to tough it out get the boat in and move off shore before using the dope (grin) but couldn't take them long enough. As a rule once off and away from shore they don't seem to be able to zero in on you as well. After a good dose of deet I drifted.. rigging the rod, an old 8' Orvis 'Western' that was picked up at bargain rate for a spare / loaner. Noticed a Loon off to the north, the direction I was drifting. He was skeptical of my intent and kept the same distance between us. Finally he ran out of lake and was being pinched into the bank. At this point he took off, skimming the surface with his wing tips for well over 100' and passing the boat less than 15' out. Times like this you wish for the capability to shoot a little video. I watched him climb to an altitude above tree tops and circle to the east then resumed rigging. In less than 30 seconds I heard a sound and barely had time to recognize it.. wings. If you've never hunted waterfowl odds are you wouldn't have known it. Anyway, all this in about 2 seconds. I looked up and the Loon passed me so close that it's still hard to believe! I would say 5 feet tops.. Startled me big time.. had he struck you at that speed and weight you'd have been stunned and dumped over the low sides of the pram boat before knowing what even hit you. I still don't know why he took such offence, there was no nest, no real reason, other than he was apparently just a cocky misanthrope Loon. A new experience for me.
Completed rigging the rod and tied a small black popper on, couple test casts and began easing the boat along the breakline. A rise well within range got the first real cast.. nothing took nor did they on the second. However I sighted another ring ahead and eased along to it and dropped the light 7 pound anchor over fixing me in place. First cast it was game on! Nice Gill
The next fish wasn't long coming. He was hooked a bit more difficult but got the popper freed without much trouble. Looking at it decided to pinch the barb.. THAT was the best move I could have made! Next fish ATE and was hooked deep. To complicate things more yet he was a smallish fish. Without forceps and a crushed barb fly I would never have gotten it. I had some other flies that were bigger and looked very promising (reason I bought a few) basically the old foam wiggle bug pattern but scaled way down from the standard Bass / Pike size. Seemed like a good time to try one, bigger fly, tougher to swallow. It's overcast big time and threatening rain.. Black was the call once again. You couldn't keep the fish off this fly! It is the epitome Bluegill fly! (Pictured in the mouth of the Bull Sunfish) With it's longer shank and crushed barb most fish didn't even have to be removed from the water to release. All you had to do was reverse the shank and wave good by. Even a deeper hooked release was a breeze with the forceps.
The day stayed DARK threatening rain that never came.. occasional brief periods of sunshine before going back to darkness. These kind of days are ones I've had epic outings on and this one did not disappoint. I fished from 5:30 a.m. to just after 3:00 p.m. before prying myself away, long out of drinking water and tired of battling the wind. The fish seemed enthused by the stiff breeze and even though it affected casting and you had to occasionally grab for your hat as it lifted off, I didn't mind. The trouble was with the light anchor.. between the waves and wind it wouldn't hold. Always a frustrating circumstance. I never saw another person all day..
..It was one of blurred casting, admiring beautiful fish.. and releasing them. The heaviest hardest pulling one came un-buttoned (naturally) Did not much phase me with present circumstances.. not a big deal. Pretty sure it was a Bass but not positive.. it ran in a big wide arc against the line tension like the other heavy Gills had, versus a Bass bulldogging at depth. I'll remember it a long time.. I did get two Bass about same size (see below)
It never ceases to amaze me how gorgeous most fish are and how perfectly adapted (color wise) to their environment they seem.
The next morning Scott and I went back, getting a later start due some responsibilities he had. We were still fishing by 8:00 a.m. It started out pretty gang busters but fell off considerably from what I had experienced the day prior. I lay it on the bright sun conditions. Still, all in all it was a good days fishing! I tied a chartreuse wiggle bug on his leader and wished I would have tied it to my own! The fish REALLY seemed to be ga ga over it. I didn't fish for the first hour or so then tried same bug in white. They did not care for it. Same with white body heavy red hackle. No go. After that I fell back on 'Old Faithful' the beat up eyes nocked off black bug from day before. They would take it.. but still not as readily as the chartreuse. An interesting observation.. now wondering if it's a constant.
|Scott with a nice one.|
|Wild Copper Barring|
|The future.. in fine fishing form|
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Monday 05-23-16 found Scott and I back on the upstream reaches of our home river. I'd spent a good portion of the day going over and rigging tackle. My long neglected Scott G 803-3 has sat in the corner catching dust since I acquired the little DFR 8' 2wt. I never had a line I was satisfied with on the Scott.. that has changed! Over winter I picked up a Scientific Anglers Mastery VPT WF 3 F. A lot of people seem totally enamored with the old school DT format. I am not one of them. About the only valid point I'll concede in their favor is the fact that they can be reversed and are actually two lines for the price of one. The myth that they have a longer / finer taper is just not true in comparison to modern WF finesse tapers. There are multiple options available with front tapers that notably exceed that of any DT I've ever studied. Enough on that pet peve..
One of the things I like with RIO and some Airflo lines is the factory loop at the rear. Looping a line on a reel is so instant and painless also increasing the efficiency of your reels, spools, and lines. I wish SA would get on board with this plan too. After reverse blind splicing a loop and nail knotting to the running line it was spun on. Now came the next step of the process.. I've been noticing how savage the conventional off the shelf leader (even on a light line) turns over a ultra-fine whispy small dry fly. Not cool.. It reminds me of trying to do finish work with a 20 ounce Estwing hammer.. it's possible but not the best tool for the job. Digging out my recipe book I built a 9' leader blood knotted and tapered down 8 steps to 5X starting with .018 butt material. Much different than the standard .023 ..or .021 if you can find them. A lot of people don't like knots complaining that they catch debris, etc.. I agree ..but where I'm fishing is pretty clean and free of weeds.. plus it's a well known fact that knotted leaders just plain turn over better. Case closed.
The last step in building a strong suit for luck was picking the right hat.. which was apparently the correct one!
The fish came easy on the second cast with biot bodied #14 Spentwing pattern. I was lucky to sight him as he wasn't rising all that regular with scarse bugs available. Had no clue on his size but confident from rise form and more so, the location. My 9 knots all held great (smiling) I love this line! Probably going to add another one or two as resources permit.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Even though December was one of the mildest in memory (EXCELLENT Steel Chasing!) the spring months made up for it. March treated us to any early false sense of sweetness in the air and greening surroundings.. Only to wither into cold nights, more snow/s and dreary temps.. I don't know why anyone was even surprised (smiling)
It has finally gotten around to Spring in mid May. That unbelievable greenness that "POPS" so vibrant.. and also signals good dry fly action.
I've had a tough go trout fishing for longer than I care to contemplate. Within the first week of May I accumulated 21+ hours of streamer fishing and never hooked let alone landed a trout. Not complaining (at least not loudly) but that is pretty uncommon. Luckily things have finally broke free of the vortex.. I landed two mid sized Browns last week on the strip.
Friday 05-21-16 John Hayes, Scott and I embarked on a first light mission that really turned out very well. Numbers are never the goal with out streamer endeavors.. more like trophy hunting (hoping?) The first surprise came as we cleared the point of a long narrow flat with major gradient change, the river widening and slowing. Scott cast to the inside edge along submerged wood and grassed bank. Several strips in as he lifted into the sunk fly for next cast, speeding it up, just as it reached the surface and was going airborne VIOLENT EXPLOSION.. On the oars and looking right at his fly I had great look at the fish as it turned and left town. Not extremely heavy but lean and lengthy.. the streamlined predator profile of a meat eater. It was sizeable enough to potentially make a guys entire season with no complaint. It was also gone just as fast as it appeared.
Not long after and on same bank, depthy slack pool Scott sweeps the rod into head shaking weight.. and is just as quickly holding a slack line straight rod. States; "I think it might have been a pike.. I wish the prick would give that fly back!" Simultaneously a mid sized pike jumps boatside, high and shaking his gill plates.. twice more he jumped.. but never gave up the fly.
A while later as we came up on a prominent outside bend tributary mouth John cast to the inside tight to the bank in a vegetation pocket. First strip produced a hard slam and solid hook-up. I crossed the river as he played it and entered the creek mouth where they eventually landed it. Beautiful fish that broke the 20" mark so universally accepted as "trophy Brown" standard. We were elated.. the day a huge success. Quality over quantity is feast or famine.. but the desserts are so sweet!
Later in the evening we met again on the upstream reaches of same river. The Sulphers are just kicking off.. my favorite spring hatch. We all took a few fish but no real 'good ones' or pigs this eve. Skipping Saturday I was back up and met with Scott on same stretch we'd fished Friday. He'd brought his 11 year old Daughter along. It's promising to see youth so full of enthusiasm and wonderment at all the new things there are to learn.. something so rare in this modernized world we now live in. It reaffirms and defines the word hope.
Almost instantly after we'd rigged rods* and started up stream the air came alive with clouds of caddis, some stones in the mix.. sulphers started to emerge. So did the rise rings! I didn't get out of sight of our vehicles before hearing and seeing a thunderous rise at the head of a productive slack inside seam lengthy run, a long time favorite and producer of good fish. Beeing no sense in going any further up I entered the shallows, stringing line and choosing a tie. A perfect Sz 16 light Cahill from my own vise. The caddis now coming in waves, the air thick with them resembling those GIANT snowflakes on the breeze during March Steel chasing. Fish were rising heavily as far as the eye could see. All in all it was good night, I brought to hand one of the nicest Brookies from this reach in many years. The pigs eluded me though.. I had a promising riser just before dusk when the temp dropped sharply and the billowing snowflakes ended.. the rises following suit. I know his home though and there's always tonight!
*This rod is a true little gem, G Loomis IM6 964-2 (8' 4wt) I've had it a couple years without use due reel foot fitting issue. Came to me in as new condition, tube and sock included.. inside I found the warranty card. It tips my USPS digital scales at a whopping 1.6 ounce. The little Loop Nymph Wide is the only perfect fit I've found for it's slide-band seat. Just good fortune it's such a sweet spot on match!
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
High winds nuked any thoughts entertained of spending time on big water searching for Steelbows. Wisdom is purchased by youth. John Hayes had came up and was ready to air some line. The upper river is a nice place to be at ANY time, so that was the plan.
It felt great to be back on this stretch.. just like coming home. I started out with a big twin winged cone-head Madonna. Water still quite cool / cold so swung some defined pools, slack water seams with soft strips in the mix. I did get one good grab but felt like a change regardless. That's kind of uncommon for me, don't often change unless there's an obvious need to. Like breaking off on a snag or your boat partners are getting significantly more interest. Anyway, I went with black, a color I don't choose as often as a guy should because of it's low visibility. I like to track my fly in and around structure whenever possible. Yellow has been a solid go too.
Playing around with some different single hand spey casts was as much direct result of the calander and my state of mind as necessary. It often is though so good to keep these skills in tune and build upon them. Coming down a nice little soft water pocket pool on about fourth swing.. fly is tracking perfect. BLAM.. Blasted and connected to a tail walking Brown in 1/2 seconds time! He was one of those special fish that register a lasting impression. Hard charger, jumped hard two more times then was landed. All roads merged as one and things were perfect at that moment in time.
Yesterday: spent six hours with the long rod standing in cold rain with WIND about two hours by car downstream from this spot. My hopes were high. Saw one chrome beauty of the 10 pound class roll in the surface even with me, about 60' out.. water I'd just swam the fly through a few minutes prior. Not long after I felt life force up through the line.. things and timing felt right so I swung -and missed- my solitary opportunity of the day. I'm blaming that one on the new "Connect Core" runner from RIO.. that additional feel screwed me ..lol..
Monday, April 6, 2015
Mother nature fooled all once again. The 'false summer' of early - mid March stalled.. into a looong extended COLD spring. Lack of precipitation has had the expected result.
Conditions were set up perfectly for a favorite trib early in the third month. With the unexpected heat wave at same time I was caught up with instant work concerns and the narrow window closed before I could make it. History repeats itself all to often.
A little over a week later I was fortunate enough to find a couple fish on a different trib. Postponing my annual B-Day fishing due to conditions paid off with a dime bright fresh in fish followed by a supreme 24" Brown Trout. Those were the only takes over a long day.. my good fortune continues to replay as day dreams while awaiting the next solid head shaking connection.
Friday 04-03-15 was not it. What it was though was a great day showing a good fishing friend one of my special reaches of water, high up on a connected trib. Plenty of snow yet in the woods and evaporating with the first rays of morning sun created an aura you could taste and feel. Dense cedar flats combined with hardwood ridges makes for a nice atmosphere. Ours were the first tracks in many places. The river was surprisingly high with a little stain. Good fortune from a few years of decent water has restored the ground table supply. When I first fished this trib you could only cross at very specific points and you'd better not stub your toe. Usually there was a beaver stake or two stationed near by in the shape of a perfect wading staff. You picked one up and crossed, then left it handy on the other bank. It's been several years since wading this water due a couple reasons I wont delve into here. I've missed it. It was nostalgic looking over the bank on the run a good friend and I were gifted with our first hook-up ever. A big Buck that shell shocked us with casual display of raw power.. and promptly severed the fragile connection we had only just established with barely enough time to recognize before it was gone. It was enough. We were hooked. Pic from 04-03-15 below