fishing lessons..

the Letort, any home
stream probably, can
become an addictive
puzzle. so much so
that it's easy to get
sucked into fishing
the same beat.

other night I decided
to look elsewhere,
and sat and scoped
out the meadow section
below the confluence,
saw a few fish working
the light sulphur hatch.

went back last night,
the rabbit hole entry
didn't look at all worn,
there is an established
path though along the
stream. This stream
gets worked over pretty

Sneak out to that spot
and can't see a fish
working, moving, fleeing.
Creep along, see one rise
a good bit upstream, and
keep noticing a milky cloud
in the under foot current.

it's right up to the mouth
of the left branch...
something's going on
up in the cress farm,
flushing. the trouts
are probably not too
happy about that.

so head further upstream,
have looked around up here,
never really fished here though.
avoid the fisherman's path,
lightly treading a wide berth.
then the typical slow old man
crouched approach, using
those couple of trees for
cover, try to blend in.

change up flies, and then again
with a fresh tippet now, mark a
few risers in the process, note
the personalities. target this one
in close off the end of that
submerged tree, nice deep
channel, undercut weedbeds
and an exuberant riser,
slashing at the random
fluttering sulphur...

change flies once again after
that and settle in, find that
casting rythmn, note the
obstacles and throw a
couple short casts, work
that seam just a bit further
out and up each time.

flog a cast into that turbled
water and see a little streak
of trout lightning zing out
from under the tree...gotchya!
not skunked tonight! just a
little parr marked brookie
sized brown, teach 'em young
and they'll grow big..

while that was going on,
I did notice a more subtle
rise upstream just a bit.
so change flies once more
and creep on up for a looksy.

well. look at that!

a big old pothole with a
current buffering weedbed
marking the back edge,
waist deep? and a very nice
looking, healthy sized, trout
parked in that cress induced
updraft, with about three
serious currents feeding him a
buggy smorgasboard buffet.

stop and watch.


don't forget to breath.
don't forget to breath.

watch some more.

watch as he rises for the
random stroogling sulphurs
that come his way. cool,
he's looking up.

intentionally went with a
smaller sized fly, #16, just
to try it out, figure it out.
start working out the line,
beautiful casting lane out
behind me, and shoot the
line for the final five or eight
feet.....short. damn, I always
underestimate the distance.

His feeding spot is right
on my limit in the here
and now, 45', maybe 50?
Throw a couple sweet
tailing loops trying to
get that extra 5' of distance,
and decide to sneak up a
bit closer....

something else I mis-
guesstimate, is how close
can I get. I see it with brookies
in pools of gin all the time.
they're fanning the current,
leisurely coasting with it, on
the feed...then you take that
one extra step, and they'll
flinch, you can see tension in
'em. And since you're really
not a yoga guru ninja, your
foot will shift in the gravel as
you catch exhale balance.

and that flinch was flight or FLEEE!
impulse for Mr. Trout. He's on edge
now, hears you exhaling thru crunchy
streambed, and he. is. gone.

but come on, you can take two more
steps, may as well, gonna spook
him with an even more fucked up
cast than the last anyways...


one step.

two step.


ahh, still on the feed, now
just watch. settle for a few
breaths, then start working
out the line. damn, this
is a muuuuch nicer spot.


get the distance dialed, then
finally throw a nice right hook,
dropping a big loop of leader
out around his window, line
landing behind him, fly above
and a big soft loop out beyond
to soak up the goofy blending

ok, now what? drift drift, ooo,
he's tipping up, he's on it, looking,



go again, couple of non-spooking
not perfect casts, then a repeat of
that one...tipping, tipping......damn.

ok, he's looked twice, change flies.
go up a size, darker wing color.
while tying knots, watch him take
two naturals. bam. bam.

knots clipped, stop, breath, observe.
see a flitting natural trying to take
flight. Mr Trout keys on it, tips,
drifts, flit, flit, drifts.....rejection,
flit. flit.

damn, this one rejects naturals...

breath. hatch picks up just a bit.
work out some line, work out
the line, accelerate and slowstop
the back cast, load the rod, wait..
now bring it fwd, pop...drop the
elbow and those sexy S curves of
line alight the waters surface.

fly drops just oh, so.

trout keys, tips, short drift...slurp.

whuuuttt! did he just fucking take
that! wait that half twitch, then set
into him...oh, he's on! and he's pissed!
see him shakin' his head and feel
that this fish has got some weight!


then he's off, heading for weed
sanctuary, get him turned, then
into the air, all the while trying
to get him onto the reel.
he turns and comes ripping
downstream, keep him out of
these weeds, stripping and reeling
and tangling and fuck! this is fun!

blink and he puts his head down
and charges straight down into the
weeds, buried. wtf?!?! side pressure,
back pressure, nothing budging,
do finally get the slack onto the reel.

whew. got tension, but nothing
budges. all different angles I can
get, nothing budges. did he tangle
me, just waiting to break me off? or
is this 4wt rod just not enough to work
him loose?

can't stand like this forever, so into
the water it is, get in close and grab
the leader, give it a tug, and suddenly
it's alive! swirling mud churning tail,
back him out of the rabbit hole and
he's off again upstream and down,
let the reel do the work.

and finally get him to hand,
a very healthy 14-15" wild
Letort brown...who hopefully
learned a bit and will grow
to 20+ before coming out to
play again...damn that was fun,
I really need to put a bottle
opener in my fishin' pack,
it was a walk back the SPD's.

and yeah, just so you know,
don't rest your rod across
your arm after you've sprayed
down with DEET infused OFF!...
it will fuck with that pretty
varnish on your bamboo rod,
oops. now I know, but it's
really just cosmetics, and
now it's really mine..

..."oh yeah, yeah, heh, I
fucked up that rod that
night I caught that really
nice brown on the Letort,
damn, that sure was a
nice fish..."

1 comment:

Skippy said...

So you took the new off that rod but damn, that's a nice fish. Great color.