Vintage ‘Bow’ Hunting
I take the path up creek and enter the water in a shallow riffle. I take time casting the flexible Fiberglass rod and limp Cortland Sylk fly line. After getting the feel for it I cross the creek and circle around up creek from the trout I spotted earlier. Hunched in a semi-hiding position I cast out the light weighted streamer up creek from the holding trout. It takes a few casts to get the streamer to flow into the pocket they are stationed in and I feel the stoppage of the fly line. Not sure if I got a fish or the rocky bottom, and not wanting to spook the trout with a heavy pull if it is a snag, I wrist backwards softly. Sure enough a fish is on the other end but my pulling action isn’t hard enough to set the hook. I see the silvery oblong shape rise towards the surface with a twist and my hook lets go. A few more casts and nothing.
I tie on a dark olive Wooly Bugger and am more accurate with my first cast. The bugger falls shy; of the flat ledged rock I stood on earlier, and sinks quickly. It swings into the deeper pocket and I feel a heavy swiping grab of the bugger. I lift the rod for the hook set, the line tensions and the rod tip dips. The trout rises with a head twist and turns deep, down towards the tail out. The wimpy tip flexes sharply but returns quickly to its natural straight-up shaft position. Another miss!!! After a few more casts the rest of the trout must be bored with my dealings and decide they don’t want to take a turn being hooked and quickly released without seeing the perpetrator.
I slowly wade along the bank-side, down creek, than stand for a moment to enjoy the day’s scenery. The view is a fall stream fisherman’s heaven. Though the water runs low and clear the forest surroundings and autumn foliage makes for a serene environment. From above, cumulus clouds move slowly reflecting the unseen sun in the blue sky background. Below bare trees lean towards the water as their branches twist and reach out in all directions. Fallen leaves lay upon the forest floor as some gather upon the shallowest stream sections. For the lack of color, a few pine trees do give the calm looking forest a little more diversity. I take out a Don Tomas Candela Churchill and light it up as I look down creek at the endless flow of water.
For the next couple of hours I continue with the same strategy. Rainbows are fooled and make the Wonderod come to life with plenty of action. A drizzle starts to fall from the sky as it turns gray. I head up creek, pausing for a few casts before getting back to the van.
I drive down creek further to a new area. The rain has stopped but the cloud cover keeps the brightness of the sun to a mild glow. The water surface glistens with the reflecting sun rays off the existing clouds as shadows, from the forest trees, darken the bank-side flow. The big pool, forward of the wide section of shallow riffles, holds trout as usual. There’s not much space between the bank-side cliff and brush for hiding my presence. The fish are wary and swim away like a crowd dispersing from a poor performing political speaker. I can’t even get one to follow the streamer after a quick glance.
I cross the creek at the wavy, fast moving riffles and get ready for action on the other side. The creek broadens and from the bank I cast across and down creek. I let the streamer swing and then strip in with no results. Down creek I can’t produce any strikes near a fallen tree so I go around it and have to cross again being not able to proceed any further do to the deeper water and sharp cliff. I wade within the shadows of the trees and cliff. At an outward bend the water flows quickly away. With my movement I see a trout swim up against the near side of a submerged log. I try for him unsuccessfully. From where the submerged log lays a thick branch extends from the creek bed towards the far shore. This creates a deep ‘V’ path of water that flows before rising over a few partially submerged branches. I move up creek a bit and cast towards the far submerged log. I extend the rod tip and let the streamer dangle and sway with the oncoming converging current. It doesn’t take long for a savage attack and the hook sets with the hard strike. I power the rod up creek to keep the trout from swimming deep below the submerged logs. My knots hold tight and I’m able to coax him out from the danger. I can feel he is a heavy fighting trout as he tries to escape with force. I get him in more open water and he tames a bit. Closer he tries to dart away from my hand but the sharp arced fiberglass rod gives no more and he comes to hand.