Friday, November 5, 2010

Wild Trout #3

Chris and I had a bum day together again and we returned to a favorite small stream that holds wild rainbows. The fish don't get very large, at most 12" or so (except that one...), but are so incredibly beautiful and healthy, we don't care a thing about the size. Every one we get to see is like finding a $50 bill on the sidewalk or finding out you have one more present under the tree.

The day would be cold, we knew that all week. We knew it'd probably be sub-freezing, and we were totally OK with it. We love this stream so much, fishing together so much, that we'd go no matter what. The cold made it better, I think. We earned our fish with a little bit of toughness that isn't needed on a nice Spring day. Ice formed on our guides immediately, occasionally freezing my casts mid-air. If I didn't stop every few casts to clear the guides, they would become encased in large hunks of ice instead of small ones. That became a little frustrating, but we laughed it off, broke off the ice and kept on fishing.

The little McCloud parr came early and remained catching through the day. Once the sun came out enough to skip its rays across the water, the fish really starting getting active. I fished only dries today and had countless fish, in their eagerness, swim up at my fly, miss it and end up somersaulting over it in the air. One fish did it three times in a row on one drift; I think he was just showing off. Not all the fish were this small, some were smaller. A few were larger and fewer still were a lot larger. Again, we enjoyed every fish we caught regardless of size simply because of how vibrant they were, both in color and vitality. To boot, they were all born in the wild. We sort of root each fish on that we catch, being quite proud of them for doing so well.

The stretch we were on was mostly new to us, and we were delighted to find that it was 100% fish-able, 100% wade-able, and 100% awesome. There was only one small section that consistently produced no fish. Every little pool, riffle and run had something to offer; some sections had 5 or 6 fish-able spots. We worked our way slowly upstream, leap-frogging each other and fishing as we went.

Chris used his 2wt TXL with a Sage Click III and was perfectly matched to the water. I played with it for a bit and immediately starting trying to figure out how I can get my hands on a TXL blank. That is one amazing rod and reel...and line. Chris fishes with a Ferrari, no doubt about it.

Quick photo and back to the water....

You know you're not 21 anymore when you see a log and flock to it for a sit-down. I said I just wanted to sit there and enjoy the scene for a moment (and I did), but I wore myself out! I'm not sure if it was the adrenaline, endorphins or the cold, but this trip really hit the exhaustion button for both of us. This ended up being a great place to take a break.

Back on the water (log in the background) we were right back into fish.

I fished my 3wt ZXL all day and am falling ever more in love with it. I love how progressive and consistent it is; it casts like a dream with SciAng GPX 3wt DT. I am getting VERY attached to this rod (but I still really want that Lamiglass 7'0" 3wt 'glass blank).

At the end of the day, we stood stream-side and admired the water and sunshine. It was a day that just went right, felt right. Anytime you get to hold a wild trout is a time worth enjoying and remembering. Today was one of those days, many many times over.


  1. Arguably the best day fishing I've ever had. Thanks buddy!

  2. Will
    Another great post. I have got to see each rod you and Chris are fishing with, sent me a link for the rods and the reels you are using. There is something special about catching wild trout, and you guys proved that today.

  3. Did any of your dry fly's get iced up while drifting in the water? I have had that happen to me before, but, that was middle of the winter fishing. Enjoyed the pictures!

  4. I have those same gloves. =) Found your blog on OBN. Very nice. I will follow along.

    The Average Joe Fisherman

  5. Bill, I'll try to get some photos taken/together for you and do a post on my gear. I'll tell Chris to do the same, but with his adding Sage rods at random to his quiver, it'll be hard to keep up with his stash.

    Mel, I definitely had some dries freeze. I was concerned initially that they'd drown easily, but I was wrong. Ice is the best flotant ever!

    Ryan, I love these gloves, but I have one gripe--the velcro. Everything seems to have velcro on it on all my outerwear, waders, etc and it has a bad habit of getting stuck together. A small gripe, but still. They are very warm and the fabric on the fore finger and thumb is perfect for stripping. Love 'em. Thanks for "following" too; I'll add a link to my blog of yours.

    Fin, Chris smokes some local blends of 'bacco, and I love being downwind from him when he's smoking. I've come to associate that smell with fishing.