Monday, February 28, 2011

Of Flies, Discipline and Rewards



It was a cold day after the storm, but the sun made it almost pleasant.



Danielle's Topo tree


Went for a little hike in the local hills with my lady Danielle sunday morning, and just happened to strap my rod to my daypack and throw in a box of the ugly streamers I've been tying. Danielle usually fishes with me, but she didn't bring her gear today; we both thought it would be pretty blown out from the storm and I mainly only brought my stuff because I was rectifying the fact that my gear had lost it's permanent place in my trunk over the last couple weeks.

It was a beautiful day. We started late, had coffee and breakfast and some good discussion, then went up to get a closer look at the snow covered hills. Went up to a place that often looks like a refugee camp and were surprised how few people were there at 10:30am...when I saw the water I knew I had to fish: it was high, but just a beautiful snowmelt blue, and clear, and cold..... and a tip Bernard gave me a few weeks back came into my head...migratory fish?

I disciplined myself to only fish the streamers I filled my box with as we hiked along, Casting upstream then letting the current take it, and then stripping back up along the current seams. Hiked for about 3 hours and fished for less than that.

The really promising looking spots were few and far between. The high flows of this winter have altered the stream a fair bit.
I came to this spot and just felt super about it.



I had a gut feeling that there was something lurking in that shadow.
I proceeded to work the black no8 wb through the run a few times letting it get taken to the end of the pool and then stripping slowly back through that shadow.

On the second retrieve I saw a big grey/black form move up toward the surface at my fly and almost had an eye pop out as it was way bigger than anything I had seen or caught on this stream.

Kept working, varying the retrieve and the position slightly, letting it dance in the current more, again, again...one more time and boom fish on.

I brought this guy in pretty quickly as he did a monstrous jump as I was stripping in and brought him to a pool right in front of me. Danielle was running video and got a real short clip so this is a still from that! She did a great job



I haven't seen any native cal rainbow trout that had this grey of an underbelly. It was weird and cool so we called him the granite trout. He slipped out of my hands quickly and back into the ice cold water swimming away with vigor. We turned toward the car near here as there were some gnarly stream crossings and way too many goldseekers.

It had been 5 weeks since I got out and fished our mountains so it felt great to be up there even though it was a short outing.
All was good; it was the first time I caught a fish on a streamer I tied and the biggest laco trout I've been able to discover yet. Discipline's reward is sure, this time it came sooner rather than later.