Monday, January 23, 2017

January Rainbows

January Rainbows

 50+ degrees in January? No rain and calm outside? Seemed like a good day to take advantage and go trout fishing.

 From the parking lot I could see the water level was on the high side. It had good flow and the color was a tint on the green side which was about perfect color as far as I was concerned. Knowing the water would be deep along the banks I put on my chest waders. I put together my 2 piece SAS Scott fly rod and lined it with 5wt double taper line. I grabbed some stogies and headed to the water.

 With the chill of the water I didn’t think any trout would be too active wanting to exert much energy chasing a bugger so I decided to concentrate on nymph fishing. I knotted on a Beaded San Juan worm and dropped a brown Hares ear from the hook bend. I added weight to the leader and stepped into the water along the bank.
 I worked the seam along the fasted current just in front of me hoping the trout would be near the softer water and not out in the main flow. It was maybe my 5th drift along the seam that the indicator dropped momentarily and lifted up with my wrist to set the hook. I felt a little wiggle of a struggling fish on the other end of the line. He wiggled and tried swimming away but the 5wt rod was way to stiff to give the little guy any give.

 Back in the fall a few local Boy Scout Troops had a camp out along the North Fork Red Bank Creek in the park. They were gathered together to learn how to tie flies, learn about how to fly fish and the equipment used as well as stream entomology. I’m not sure what the number of kids and scout masters were but there was a large group of them with tents strung out along the park lawn. They were all there to receive their merit badge for fly fishing and had asked the local Trout Unlimited Chapter if we would help them achieve this. I was contacted by the head of the Iron Furnace Chapter and of course made time to volunteer. It was well organized with plenty of instructors. The young men were well behaved and respected us in a manner I haven’t seen a group of kids, this size, act in a very long time. To add to their benefit the TU chapter got the creek stocked with rainbows for the Boy Scout Troop. From what I heard was there wasn’t many fish to be had and the place they were able to buy the fish were in the size 6” to 8” range. I figured this little guy was one of these last fall stocked fish.
 After about an hour I looked down creek and the early morning sun broke through the cloud cover and was shining on the water down creek. I was hoping for a stonefly hatch. Seeing the sunshine I waded out and headed towards the sun.

 I spent an hour or so without any takes. The stonefly hatch never occurred. It might have been because of the high water level. Once the sun shown upon the water upstream I went back up creek.
 I fished San Juan worms in the faster water and nymphs as a dropper most of the time. I found with a little extra weight and eliminating the indicator got my nymphs down where the fish were and was more successful. I caught a few more small rainbows, that were pretty frisky, on an assortment of Hares Ears and little Black Stoneflies. I even caught one on a swinging picket pin. Later in the afternoon the sun disappeared and the air started to get colder. My lower extremities were really feeling the cold water by then and my feet were close to being numb. I felt I had enough fun and waded out of the chilled water towards my truck.
 While changing clothes I finished off the stogie I had been smoking and quenched my thirst.
 It turned out to be a fine January day to trout fish.


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