Water levels have been what I would call ‘pretty good’ for me over the past 5 years or so. For the most part, at least into July and August I haven’t had to rely on low water spots a whole lot. This year, however, has been pretty unique thus far. It’s been weeks that I have been struggling to find places to fish due to high water. I’ve found that while I excel at finding places to fish when water levels are marginal, I not nearly as good at hitting home runs when they are very high. The unpredictable nature of thunderstorms makes it almost impossible to be right all the time. It’s typically a decision that only happens a few times a summer but this summer it’s been every trip for weeks and weeks. Of course this is not a complaint, more so an observation. Saturday was a continuation of my extended period high water learning.
On Friday I made a special trip to the bike store to replace the one I had stolen last week. In about 2 hours I transformed this…
The last bike, while comfortable, didn’t have the best of starts. Seemed like every time I would ditch it upstream the fishing would be horrible but if I left it in the truck it was good. I try not to be too much of the superstitious type but sometimes it gets the better of me haha. I was hoping this bike would bring better fortune.
It took me a little time to find a stream that I was interested in fishing for Saturday. I had 2 in particular in mind all week long. I simply couldn’t wait to fish either. But on Thursday evening 1.5-2.5” of rain blew everything out again and I was scrambling. Finally I came across a ‘Ya!! I’d enjoy fishing there’ stream and the plan was set.
When the alarm went off Saturday AM at 4:15 I was surprised how excited I was. Trout fishing never really gets old to me. I had a little concern in my mind about the water levels I would find when I arrived and because of that I decided to arrive very early. About 30 minutes before it was light enough to fish. I wanted to allow myself time to get to Plan B or C, both of which I had planned out well. When I got to the stream I was overjoyed with what I saw. I’d guessed well and flows were excellent.
I drove several miles upstream and bid my bike its first farewell. As I drove off I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the kiss of death haha.
There’s always a little apprehension in my mind when I approach a stream. Even though everything seems perfect I’m a very anxious person and find concern in just about all of my hobbies. Is it too sunny, did someone fish it lately, is the water too high or too low in reality…… I’m a defensive fisherman. I sent my first cast into an oozing channel above the bridge. It’s really the only meadow section on the stream. Just a short flat 2’ deep channel with overhanding brush. My spinner was churning its way back when ‘bump….bump’. I had 2 little hits which calmed my nerves. I really wanted this to be a good outing so a strike on the first cast was a good sign. On my second cast I caught that little brownie which was an even better sign.
The fish probably hadn’t seen a spinner in a little bit or else it wouldn’t have hit again like that. 5 minutes in and 6 trout later my focus was off concern and onto dissecting this little trout stream.
The water was indeed a little higher than perfect but the fishing for wild browns and brooks was consistent and I was content in the sights, sounds, and action.
I poked and prodded my way up the creek and away from any sounds of the outside world. I was in no real hurry on the day so I twice took a seat along the side to rest my legs and more so my back. It was just a spectacular morning to be where I was and I was thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. At one of the spots, as I was sitting there, I spied a small 1” wild brown at the back of the pool. He was so tiny and doing all he could behind a small stone (must have been a boulder to him) to pick off small bits of food that I couldn’t see. He’d dart out every so often and then rush back to his hold. I watched him for 10 minutes as I ate a sandwich. It was as entertaining as anything I could find.
As I continued up the watershed it got smaller and brookies started to enter the picture. They are very pretty here….
And I finally got to enjoy some blooming mountain laurel.
I finally reached a split in the stream that I knew would be my jump out point. I fished a little on the split and ended the day at 2PM with 239 trout for the effort. It was exactly the type of day I was looking for and the feeling of satisfaction as I trekked up the steep wooded ravine to my bike was high. I reached my bike a sweaty mess and hit the road. It was all downhill, as was the days fishing, and even though I was 3 miles from the truck I was there in about 5 minutes. Can’t beat that……can’t beat the day!