Old Style Brookie Fishing
I fitted the ferrules together of the two piece Wonderod. I attached the old Martin Classic MC78 reel to the down locking seat and tightened the two locking rings. After threading the Cortland Sylk line through the small rod eyes I checked the leader and tippet for strength or abrasions. Seeing the leader/tippet was quite long for casting Woolly Buggers I trimmed a bit off to my desired length. I knotted on a white Woolly Bugger and added a little weight about a foot and a half up on the tippet. I grabbed an old baseball cap, a couple of cigars, vest and I was ready for some old school trout fishing.
I lit up my first stogie and headed up creek to start my adventure. As I walked the bank I peered into the water to see if I could notice any brook trout holding near the bottom. When I got far enough I stepped off the bank and carefully stepped into the water not wanting to kick up much silt or dirt. With the clear water I knew my casts will have to be long, down and across so the trout won’t see me. I knew it would take a little time to get used to casting the soft action fiberglass rod so I took a few practice casts outward. I looked down creek, puffed on my cigar and began fishing the bugger down stream.
It took awhile for my first strike. I was able to see my white Woolly Bugger as it swung from the far bank towards the middle of the creek. I let it waver there a bit and than twitched it now and than as I stripped it in slowly. I seen the light colored trout following it but wasn’t interested enough to grab it. My next cast I let it take the same course. I twitched it a bit more often as I stripped it in. Letting it ‘swim’ within my vision I saw the trout draw up and mouth it. I whipped the rod tip back with my wrist and the fiberglass rod arced downward. The lively brook trout scurried around in the shallow riffle splashing water about as he rose to the surface. I got him played toward the bank and admired his beautiful colors before letting it go.
Continuing on I got better at casting the rod and was able to sidearm the bugger underneath pine boughs or drop the bugger, down creek, spot on near fallen deadwood. Most of the takes were light but the soft tip reacted with a twitch with each strike. Playing the trout was fun as the rod flexed with every jolt or dart that the brook trout took.
I made my way, easy like, casting about as I slowly waded the creek. I changed weight often on the line due to the many water levels I was fishing in. At times, in slower current, I had no weight at all on and just let the bugger skirt just below the surface. In the shallower water I held the rod tip up but used enough weight, up from the bugger, so the bugger would waver just under the surface mid depth.
Stripping the bugger through the shallower water towards me the rod flexed instantly downward and, out of natural reaction, my wrist jerked the rod up to set the hook. The brook trout scurried beneath the wavy riffles trying to loosen the hook. I waded towards the bank and coaxed him nearer me, the ’glass’ rod arcing effortlessly. Another fine colorful brook trout came to hand.
As evening comes to a close I get to a section I’m sure I can pull my last trout out. With an overhand cast I shoot the bugger towards the far bank. It plops just before the steep far bank. As the bugger starts to swing I let more line out of the reel so the bugger drifts further down creek before it completes its arc. The drift takes the Woolly Bugger under the extending pine tree branches into the deeper hole. As it drifts towards the shallower waters, still under a long overhanging branch, a trout appears following my offering. One small twitch towards the bank and the trout maybe thinks the minnow like imitation is trying to get away. He darts quickly forward to eat it and with a backward rise of the rod I set the hook. The trout tries to scurry for cover into the deeper water beneath the limbs but the arc force of the ‘glass’ rod holds him back from going too far. He shoots down creek and I give him just enough line for a quick run to use up more of his energy. I move the rod towards the bank and he follows with quick, short, jerking tugs. My last brook trout comes to hand.