Saturday, July 28, 2018

Brook Trout on the Dry

Brook Trout on the Dry
May 19th, 2018

  I was tired of casting Woolly Buggers with a ton of weight on the leader to get them down deep in the high and fast running current. I was bored with the rhythmic motion of nymph fishing and wet fly fishing. I came to Potter County for dry fly action but because of the high and fast current from the week day storms there wasn’t much of a hatch and the trout weren’t rising on Kettle Creek. Saturday evening I decided to go to a smaller creek in hopes of finding rising trout or at least water conditions that were much more in my favor.

 In the smaller stream I found myself thigh high in colder water and looked over the situation of what I would decide to tie on first. This creek was on the high side also but the current wasn’t so fast and since it wasn’t as deep there might be a chance for the trout laying on the bottom to rise to a Mayfly. There were a few small Sulphurs coming off the surface now and then like hot embers rising from a campfire flame. I didn’t see any trout rising though. One of those sulphurs got close enough to me and I was able to catch and cradle it in my hand. It was about a size #18 with a light olive segmented underside and faint yellow above. It almost looked like a grey fox but the thorax was a distinct orange/sulphur color with dun color wings. I knotted on a Sulphur para-dun when I seen my first rise near the far bank.
 My casts to the far side were long as I didn’t want to disturb the midstream water where other fish might have been holding. I missed three trout before I realized what I felt I was doing wrong. I figured the trout rising were just small brook trout but any fish rising I was ready to go after. Because of the long line I had out I was trying to set the hook with just a wrist set. By the time the length of line got off the water and straightened out the hook set was late. I decided to rear back on the rod with more force and try to set the hook more quickly. Once I got the hang of it I hooked up with these little beauties more often. I had them skipping across the surface fighting the 4 weight. Others would dart beneath as I was bringing them near me fighting the line trying to get free. 

  I had to go down to a size #20 midge at times to get a trout to rise when I didn’t see any more sulphurs on the water.

  I only seen one Gray color May fly which may have been a Quill Gordon or Hendrickson. I knotted on a similar imitation and ended up hooking a nice size brook trout in the process.

 I was having fun but the cold water was taking its toll. It wasn’t long before my whole body was chilled from standing thigh high in the cold water. There were still a few risers down creek a bit but I decided to call it a day. I was getting hungry and thirsty and I was pretty sure the trout won’t be going anywhere overnight and maybe I’ll be teasing them in the morning.

 Back at camp I cooked up some trout fillets and pork and beans for supper. A little BBQ sauce in the beans added flavor and Old Bay on the fillets is a must!

  For the night cap I enjoyed an Railbender ale and sipping some bourbon. While thinking about the days fishing and tomorrows possibilities I sat back and lit up a Arturo Double Chateau sun grown. I definitely finished off the day of trout fishing to the finest.  


Friday, July 27, 2018

Glass'n in the Float Tube

Glass’n in the Float Tube
July 2018

 The pond lays calm encircled by the green forest. It resembles a round doughnut shape with a small island of grass off centered. Clouds shadow the pond surface as they drift beneath the early rising sun. A light wind wrinkles the surface water, like a glazed doughnut, sparkling under the bright sun in full view. My float tube is pocketed with streamers, poppers and essentials for this outing for largemouth fishing. My choice rod is a 6 weight, 8’6” Wonderod fitted with a large arbor and 7 weight line.

 I push off the bank and fin my way into open water. I spent the first hour or so casting towards the banks with an assortment of poppers. Not getting any takes I switch to streamers and finally get a take. The bass grabs the streamer as I strip it towards me. I set the hook with a hard over the head yank and the bass fights the glass rod as it bows and flexes with every tug. 

 Keeping with the streamers, as I float around the pond, I catch a few other pond fish on the streamers.

  As I float near the island I hear water disturbance and look towards the commotion. Waves of water splash about in the shadows of the trees near a shallow corner of the pond. It was evident that bass are feeding, chasing bait fish and causing the disturbance. I fin my way closer and cast a Clouser minnow towards the ruckus. The fly line loops in the air and the streamer touches down into the feeding fish. The take is almost instant and a hard yank sets the hook. A bass explodes from beneath into the air trying to shake the hook. He reenters with an audible splash. I waste no time and guide him towards me not worried about breaking off with 10lb leader and tippet.

  The action is fast as the bass feed. Another take on the streamer and another bass fights for freedom.

  There’s a thick branch protruding the surface just out from the bank to my right. I can’t tell the deepness but it’s one of those spots that looks like a bass might be hiding in ambush. As my Clouser streaks through the air a strong breeze guides it to the far right of the branch. I make a strip to tighten the line and I watch a wake towards my streamer. A quick strip and the bass grabs it. The rod bows with my hook set and flexes deep into the butt section. The bass yanks back and heads out of the shallows to my far right. I have the cork grip pointing upwards taking in line as the bass tugs and fights the flexing rod for an advantage. I turn him, not giving up line, and he heads towards the float tube. I quickly take in line till I have him near. He takes a couple of deep dives but the glass rod flexes deep and he rises back up to the surface. 

  As things slow down it’s time to relax a bit and I take out an AB Nica Puro Rosado. I nip off a bit of the cap on the torpedo shaped stogie and lick the flavor of the outer wrapper. Cupping my hand I light the foot and the cigar comes to life as smoke fills the air around me. The Nicaraguan tobacco satisfies my cigar urge while I continue fishing for bass.  

  I float around casting streamers anticipating a strike at any moment. I catch a few smaller bass and a blue gill and another healthy looking rock bass.

  Wanting to get at least one fish on a popper I switch to a dark color popper which should show up well under the fading sun. I miss one bass but at least I know the dark popper caused a strike, one color I hadn’t used earlier. Slowly floating my way to me exit point I cast the popper just off the bank. The water erupts where my popper was and I yank back. The bass tail wags as he exit’s the water perpendicular to the surface. He splashes down and my line tightens again. He isn’t as big as I would have liked but the explosion on a surface popper always jolts me with excitement.

   7 some hours fishing for bass comes to a close as I make my way to land. I enjoy a cold brew while changing into dry clothes and putting my gear away. Of coarse a stogie for the drive home makes for a good ending to a relaxing bass pond outing.