Monday, October 31, 2016

Revisiting Memories of Late Summer on a Small Stream

There's been so much to write about, and I have so many adventures left on the table that need to be written up - so in between reports on my recent trip to Japan, I thought I'd share some photos from a couple of days on a local stream from late summer.

This stream is full of beautiful wild browns, and it isn't that far from the city. I often drive up for a couple hours on the stream when my schedule allows.

I've christened more than one new Mankyu net on this stream, and I love seeing all the wild browns and their unique colorations in these beautiful nets.

The orange-red color of the net bag compliments the brown trout and their red spots so well. I have a couple with this color net bag, and one that is smaller in diameter with a purple color that I mostly use for netting brookies.

Unlike most of the wild trout streams in the area, this one tends to hold some larger trout. I didn't get any of those on either of these days represented here, but the numbers were definitely with me. I can often hook into 20 or more fish in a few hours if conditions are right. For this reason, I like coming here to try new flies, new methods, and to practice casting different rods.

Its great to know a stream like this... you get to know where the fish like to hold to a scary-accurate degree. There's something really satisfying about knowing when to expect a strike... but there's always a new pocket or a new channel to drift as well. Additionally, on days when the fishing is slow, you don't start to make bad decisions like worrying about "using the wrong fly" or "if maybe there aren't any fish in the river." Then you adjust your technique and start getting right back into the fish again.

On one of these days I was fishing the Tenkarabum 36. On the other, the Oni type III. For this stream, its a hard choice. Since it does hold some rather large fish, its nice to use the Tenkarabum 36. But ultimately, the full-flex of the Oni type III coupled with the slightly shorter length yields a better combo for this spot. Plus I did once land a 19 inch wild beast on that rod as well... maybe that was just luck.

The Tenkarabum 36 does fine with the smaller fish though, the ultra-fine tip makes the fight almost as much fun, with the added bonus of wrangling the big ones in faster.

The forest surrounding this stream has some beautiful features, and it grows a variety of different mushrooms. I'm starting to learn more about identifying new species but there's a lot more to learn before I'm confident in what's what.

I also saw an interesting stick bug which wanted badly to get back into the water. I have never seen these things in the water before.

Like all the local streams this year, this one was very low towards the end of the summer. Fishing around big rocks like the one below can yield a strike from a fishing hiding in a small pocket underneath.

Little wild trout like these represent the lifeblood of the streams. Their abundance indicates the health of this place. How resilient they are, even in the face of drought, high air temps and fishing pressure.

 I can't wait until the local season opens again next year so that I can return and cast a fly to these trout once more.

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