I try to learn something on every fishing trip. Usually this involves some little casting or mending technique or how to position myself in order to make an effective presentation to the fish. Sometimes it's about where the fish are likely to be holding in the current or how to approach a certain pool without scaring the spots off of every trout in the vicinity. Sometimes it's about the bugs. What is hatching at this time of the year and how do the fish react? What fly pattern will best match the bugs the fish are currently feasting on? Sometimes I learn something, usually through trial and error, and sometimes I happen on things by blind, dumb luck.
This Saturday, I learned a very important lesson. Never trust the advice of another fisherman. If you hear that the fishing is sub-par on a certain creek that's been good to you in the past, and it's no longer worth messing with, don't believe it until you've gone to have a look for yourself! So it was that Marty and I paid a visit to an old friend that neither of us had been on for the last few years due to rumors of the generally crappy fishing. We weren't really expecting the best day of fishing we had experienced in a good while, but that's exactly what we got.
First, we got geared up with all the necessities for a day in the woods: electrolytes, peanut butter, caramel, almonds and white fudge. Oh yeah, we took fishing rods too.
We hiked in and found the stream still running pretty full but looking good.
The first pool of the day produced several fish. This seemed a little strange for a creek that's not supposed to hold very many trout, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
At this point, I was hoping it didn't turn out to be a one of those all too frequent days where you start off well and then things kinda peter out. I needn't have worried as fish continued to attack any fly we managed to get near them, often giving us several chances. At one point, I hooked and lost a fish only to have him eat the fly again on the very next cast. You gotta love brook trout; aggressive, dumb, and real pretty. In this way, they kinda remind me of a former girlfriend...
We even managed to hook a couple brown trout, the supposed problem for this little creek. This larger, more aggressive, intrusive species tends to out-compete the native brook trout and take over. The Park Service regularly removes and relocates the browns to help alleviate the problem and the official fishing regulations say that any brown trout caught inside the Park boundary must be destroyed.
Since I also hooked 3 or 4 brook trout in the same pool this feller came from, I figured he couldn't have been doing too much harm and I decided to break the law and send him on his way unharmed. What a rebel...
We ended up fishing until early evening, getting pretty far up the hill and ended the day with 2 browns and about 97,000 brookies. I guess you could say the stream is doing pretty well after all.