Two Similar Days
Each summer there comes a time, usually after it hasn't rained much for several weeks, when the trout streams seem to go into what I call the "summer doldrums." This time is marked by what appears to be a diminished interest in spinners by the trout, and the fishing becomes rather slow.
One way to counteract this problem is to find streams where the trout seldom see spinners, but this is rather difficult to do when the mountain streams are too low to enjoy and anglers are concentrating on the limestoners. Meanwhile, some of the larger waterways are borderline too-warm to fish for trout.
I don't think we are there yet this summer, but I can sense this time is coming if we don't get substantial precipitation soon.
On Saturday morning, August 15th, 2015, I decided to fish a stream that I hadn't had much luck on in recent visits. However, I felt it just had to be good sooner or later.
But today was not the day either. The fishing was kind of disappointing. In 4.00 hours I landed 46 trout, including this rainbow.
It took a while for this young buck to identify me as danger.
At that point I decided to drive to a tiny mountain stream that holds its flow better than most freestone streams I'm familiar with.
I had no illusions of catching 54 trout to hit the century mark for the day, especially when the first hour yielded just six little wild trout, including this brookie...
...and this red-spotted brownie.
I kept seeing partial tracks and weeds knocked over and thought maybe someone had fished here recently. Then I saw these tracks. Either a cub black bear or a young sasquatch was ahead of me. Apparently this one had his shoes on the wrong feet.
The activity from the trout gradually improved. I figured it would get even better once I got upstream from where I had quit on my only other visit this year to this rivulet back on May 23rd. I started to think that hitting 100-trout was attainable.
Taking photos of this uniquely-colored native brookie slowed me down.
But it was worth recording the moment. I fished 4.50 hours and caught and released 55 additional wild trout, giving me 101 trout in 8.50 hours for the day.
On Sunday morning, August 16th, I decided to fish this small stream first.
Similar to yesterday, shortly after daybreak a small buck materialized upstream.
A branch from a small catalpa tree grew out over the creek.
As did some swamp milkweed.
The surroundings are starting to take on that "late summer" look.
I fished here until I came to "Posted" signs. I caught 38 wild brown trout in 3.50 hours.
Next up was a place I had fished just once in my life and that was about two months ago. It's the kind of place I doubted any spinner fisherman had fished since my last visit.
The first time I fished here the trout acted like Kamikazes, hitting my spinner with wreckless abandon. I hoped similar action would ensue.
But many of the trout were clearly wary of my White Bead Gold spinner. I went troutless in many spots, even though when I waded past trout often scurried away. It's amazing how trout remember not to make the same mistake again. I fished 3.00 hours and caught 39 wild brown trout.
Cup-plant was bloomng along the stream. This was my first time to ever see it.
Since I still had time, I decided to close the day by going to a little mountain stream, similar to yesterday. Luckily, it still had a decent flow for August.
Not many trout were out feeding, and several times I contemplated quitting, but I kind of wanted to catch 23 trout to hit 100 for the day. I figured sooner or later things would pick up.
That's when this gorgeous wild brown trout charged my spinner from a good six feet away and grabbed it without hesitation.
Similar to the attractive brookie yesterday, this trout was worth a second look.
My 100th trout of the day was this 11" wild brown. Note how the diagonal rows of large red spots are very similar to the 12.5" wild brown in the previous two photos.
In 2.50 hours I caught 24 trout, and similar to yesterday I closed the outing with 101 trout in 9.00 hours.
- Frank Nale -