Sunday, January 17, 2010

On The Prowl For Browns

After a nasty head cold prevented me from finding time on the water last weekend, I was itching to walk the water's edge and swing a fly rod in search of a fishy tug. I will typically wear my watch on my trips out as I have a schedule to meet or keep, but not today. Time was of no importance. I would be there as long as I felt like walking, casting, or just sitting and watching the dance of the water. The valley was absolutely gorgeous with highs in the 40's and not a trace of wind to upset the casting stroke. The warmth had the water a bit high and it was off color, but I was hoping the conditions would favor me given that low, clear water here generally gives the trout an advantage over the fisherman. On the third cast I had my answer, with a feisty little brown trout pounding the brown bugger and dancing on the water a bit before coming in for a quick picture and speedy release.

After, the first fish of 2010, I worked upstream targeting nice lies and didn't find any fish for a little while. I did manage to slip and nearly fall into the stream. My blue jeans would carry the muddy evidence of my clumsiness for the rest of the day in the form of wet, brown knee patches. I quickly forgot the mud as I hooked and lost a nicer fish in a temporary high water lie. The golden yellow of his belly flashed as the brown gave me two arced jumps and he was gone.

Working further upstream, I settled into a hole that is another high water treat. It becomes a deeper, slower run than the surrounding areas and can concentrate fish in its dark safety. Three short strikes, and then a pair of browns were landed in quick succession. The fish were energetic and so pretty. Amazingly, I conjured another two hookups from the hole, resulting in tiny leaping browns, but both shook the bugger.

The sun was waning and one last hole beckoned for some attention. The Heron Hole is a good one and there is a large brown that tends to reside there. On the second cast I had a massive wake following my bugger downstream, but no take. The trout scurried back to his lie and after a few more casts, I packed it up and headed home to some new pants and an Isolation Ale.
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