Hit up my favorite un-approved trout water stream on Saturday. I was a little skeptical as to what would be left over. A rough summer, and terrible winter had me a bit optimistic of what I would find. My favorite little honey hole, had totally changed as well. The ice jams looked as thought the carved a trough down through the stream. The easy to fish and easy to pick out holding lies, and feeding lies, were not there and had to go back to the basics. Was nice, as I knew this stream by rock from fishing it so much over the last few years, as I had been limited on travel time due to becoming a dad.
The stream was just a smidge colored and almost clear. The flow was a bit lower than the norm for this time of year, but was very fishable. I was very happy to get out and be on the water, finally. I am a die hard winter fly fisherman, and this winter the streams were completely froze almost from December on in my area.
I ended up landing three, losing 3, and missing quite a few. Two of the three landed were on the Peeping caddis pattern, and the other was caught on a bright orange bead head Walt's Worm.
I was very pumped as the first fish was a healthy little rainbow. No worse for ware than the day he was stocked.
The next fish was a chunky little brookie who also hammered the "peeping caddis". You can see how deep he ate the fly. This is a size 10 anchor pattern.
I had hit up a holding lie at the rear of the pool, and rolled a really nice rainbow. I was thinking that it would be cool to catch all three species on my first outing of 2014. Just then I watched my leader zip upstream, and set the hook on a nice brown. The fish was a gorgeous torpedo that shot out of the water 4-5 times. I ended up losing him, as I always seem to have issues with acrobatic trout, and barbless hooks. He was about 11" to a foot long. Huge fins and bright colors. I am inclined to think this was a wild or older hold over fish.
I switched up my first fly to a "hot headed" Walt's worm, and decided to put on an indicator for a bit. I was drifting the main feeding lie with no success, so I switched to the holding lie at the back of the pool. The indicator barely moved and I set the hook thinking it was just a rock. Was surprised to see another chunky brookie flash and fight.
I decided I would switch it up a bit and throw a black bugger. I stayed at the holding lie, and enjoyed watching trout come from all over to swing at the fly. I forgot how hard they hit buggers, and snapped one off with my older line and a quick hook set. I felt bad for the trout as he was trying rigorously to get the bugger out of his mouth. Being barbless, he should end up ok.
A great "first day" of trout, and a great way to start the season. I have a really hectic schedule so this may be one of the few times I get out for trout this year. I will be going insane for gobblers very shortly, but always enjoy a few hours out with my flies. I was very happy to know that at least there were 7-8 trout that made it. I had not hit on any of the larger fish that typically winter in this stretch of stream. I was expecting very skiny, and tired sluggish fish. Boy was I wrong. It amazes me that they can hold their own, even with 8-12" of ice on the stream.