Monday, May 26, 2014

I'm Changing

My philosophy towards trout fishing is starting to change. Gone are the notions that trout are fragile almost timid creatures that shy away at the nearest vibration from the bank. These thoughts have been replaced by predators with the capacity to overcome prey with fierce speed and ferocious annihilation. There's two types of trout. Those that stay in the main water column and eat what they can. The others hide in the darkness and out of reach places. They eat what they want when they want. Usually they've been caught once or twice and their years of wisdom have made them leery about anything out of the ordinary. It's these fish that I've started to target and my enjoyment of fly fishing has increased tenfold. The small size 20flies and 7x tippet no longer exist in my fly box. 3x is the standard and as an added bonus you rarely lose flies. Big fish indeed want big flies and it usually takes something larger than 3inches to entice them. Even when you do the most you can expect is a follow. I have finally learned the difference between a curious follow and a chase. Then there is the ambush which is an unexpected flash that usually ends as quickly as it starts. Since I've started fishing this way I have seen more big trout this year than in all 10yrs of fly fishing combined. The method works and the fish aren't any easier to catch. The technique allows you to get a glimpse of the fish but doesn't guarantee anything. The game becomes about a well placed cast, proper retrieve and fast reflexes. The fish wins 99% of the time and the challenge just makes it more fun. For me just the sight of a 20inch fish trailing my fly is exciting enough. The visual part is what I love and I'm addicted to seeing more.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Taking A Swim

I got out this morning to one of my favorite stretches of water.
All the rain recently had the river running higher than normal. I still thought the fishing would be great. None of the the usual flies seemed to work and I didn't see as many fish as I expected. In one fast riffle I managed my first fish. It was a chub and I think it was showing spawning colors. I've never seen one with red fins like this.
The water was pretty chilly and turtles were lining logs and rocks to sun themselves. It always seems like I see one or two of these guys.
I've observed water snakes hunting before and after doing so I'm glad they are harmless to humans. They are ferocious predators and seem to get any fish they go after. With the flow of the river I found it hard to figure out just what the fish wanted. I decided to try a fly that sank but didn't go all they way to the bottom. This proved to be the best tactic for me. In an eddy under a tree I got a nice surprise.
I don't catch catfish very often and it's always a treat when I get one on the line. This fish fought really hard and took awhile for me to get it to the surface. It was really the highlight of the trip for me. I spent the rest of the day enjoying the sites.
I only saw this in one section of the trail. I believe it's wild azalea. I wanted to try some but I'm a little paranoid about eating plants that I'm not sure of. I've heard some interesting stories about how people ate one thing they thought was something else and spent the rest of the day in the bathroom.
There was one pool just off the trail that looked amazing. There wasn't any easy way to get to it and the best looking access was this sketchy bank that basically was a muddy cliff. I found a spot that looked decent and I held onto a tree while I tried to work down the bank slowly. I went to put my foot down figuring that it was solid only to find I sank in about 2ft of mud. At the same time I lost grip of the tree and started to fall backwards. I kept waiting to feel the water and when I did I was surprised at the velocity I gained. I basically did a backflop into the water and it wasn't just a spash it was like KER-PLUUUGE! It wasn't that deep but I basically laid down in the water and soaked everything but my head. I let out a shudder kind of like when you get hit with a cold shower because you forgot to turn the dial. I was surprised no one heard or saw me. I was embarrassed and luckily only my ego was damaged.