Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Traveling for wild rainbows

My buddy Mike and I decided to hit some wild trout water a little further from home, so we took 50 minute drive in the middle of the afternoon.  I hadn't made plans that weekend day yet, and his timing was great when he called to see if I wanted to fish.  I told him where I wanted to try, and he agreed.

We got there and noticed right away the water was low, but was still in the mid 60's.  We worked our way downstream (should have been upstream but I had a few spots I wanted to get to that were downstream)  The first big pool we fished, Mike waded out into the water  ways downstream from me, and motioned over to me after a few minutes...across the small river from him was a huge brown, sitting in shallow water.  By the time he'd noticed, the brown noticed him.  It took off into the deep water and that was that.  In the first 10 minutes, I had two pretty big fish follow my streamer on the trip in, but wouldn't commit.  After a few more minutes, I had a slam but couldn't connect with the fish, bah!!

Shortly after, I watched a rainbow feeding in the top half of the water column, right in front of me.  I couldn't move because he was a few feet downstream from me, so I just sat and watched him pick through bugs floating by him, it was great.

We worked our way downstream, and I finally hooked up and landed a few small rainbows, but had missed all other strikes.  I changed flies often, but couldn't get any love for a while.  The sun was right above us, and fishing low and clear water wasn't easy at all.  We headed to the car and drove a few miles downstream to scope out some new water.  We got out of the car and walked a few 100 yards to the river bank.

We pushed ourselves through the brush until we could see water, and in the exact spot we stopped to look at the water, directly below us, about 5 feet off the bank and 2-3 feet under the surface, sat a brown in the 20-22" range, just sitting there.  There was no way we could fish him from where we were, so we decided to try to make our way down there.  In retrospect, one of us should have stayed and kept an eye on the fish, but we were both eager to get down there and forgot to realize that. When we got down there, the water was DEEP and slipper.  My pant-high waders barely cut it, and I ended up getting wet just crossing the shallowest part.  We fished the run that the brown was in with no love.  I spotted a few little rainbows scurrying around near us, and fish rising downstream that we couldn't reach.  It was a pretty frustrating day, but humbling as well.  We got to see some seriously big fish for the size of the water that it was!

I was determined to return to that water and redeem myself.  That's all I could think about on the way home.

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