Instead of being high and black, the river was flowing perfectly and with just the right amount of color for the perfect streamer fishing.
Let me set thing up here....
When the current trout were stocked they were as goofy as any freshly stocked trout are, but they weren't to excited about really big streamers. It took a few days for them to realize that all those fall fish, salmon parr, and shiners around them were tasty but as soon as they did fishing articulated flies became the best way to catch many of the larger fish. Then they realized how dangerous stuff is and became spooky. I'm sure they would still have eaten streamers, but the sound of line and fly hitting the shallow, calm, clear water made them jump out of their skins. Then came the rain.
The water was in such a condition today that I was perfectly comfortable wading in the pools that I couldn't earlier this week (the ripples I sent out spooked the fish). This put me in the perfect position to hit the deep trough on the near bank without the problems normally related with fishing that structure from the bank. My fly of choice was a big deceiver style articulated streamer, similar to those used on the Ausable bellow Mio and the White and North Fork of the White. I usually lean towards the marabou in my flies, but bucktail has it's benefits.
So does discolored water. The first take came about four feet from the rod tip. I couldn't see it. I just felt resistance. It pulled, and I pulled the line back, hooking the fish and launching into an awesome acrobatic display. Not a big fish, but a good start. About four casts later I watched a boil on my fly. I felt a bump. I kept stripping, and a few seconds later I watched the water boil as the fish came back for the kill. Awesome. That is very similar to the way wild trout behave. So was the fight this fish put on, taking line and head shaking like a monster. This was a big rainbow, all of 18 inches and with girth to match. It had also taken the fly in the correct way. Fresh stockers always eat from behind, this one smashed the head and left the rear hook alone. What an awesome fish. I should have known to end it there, things were not going to get any better: I broke of one fish and missed a few take. All that did very little to hinder my enthusiasm. Streamer fishing is just so much fun!