Wednesday, November 11, 2015
A Long Journey To Find Wild Brook Trout
It's cold. It's wet. It's windy. And I'm still sick. But why shouldn't I hike two miles of river looking for isolated populations of wild trout? I chose to spend the day examining every foot of a stretch of river I have never fished before.
I one of the first pools I fished, I caught a good number of fallfish using an Atlantic Salmon style wet fly. I didn't find them anywhere else.
I made it a half mile before I ran into a salmonid of any kind. It was a startling encounter. I was wading through the leaves wen suddenly a stocker that was hiding in them lost it and rammed my leg hard in the process. I jumped a few feet in the air and yelled! I have this weird phobia of things hiding in murky water, and that did not help me in this circumstance.
The first salmomid I caught was a stocked brooky. Skinny muted colors, weird head. The next one WAS NOT STOCKED! It was a six inch male with magnificent colors and I am still a bit annoyed that I didn't have the good sense to take a photo of it. It was the only wild brooky I caught in this river today, and the only one I have ever even heard of being caught there. An anomaly? Probably. I didn't so much as move another trout in the rest of this stream. For part of it that is understandable, it's a messy frickin swamp.
I spent an hour trying to make my way out of that swamp! It put my waders in jeopardy, but I managed to escape hole free. In one spot I found some sort of kid's toy. How did it get there? I put in a rediculous amount of effort to get in that deep, and without waders it would be next to impossible. It's not even in the part susceptible to flooding, it was on an island like hill.
So I was successful in determining that there is at least one wild brook trout in that stretch of river. Will I ever fish that again? Almost definitely not. But I did find a pretty cool but totally different small stream. I found it while walking along the road after exiting the other river, it occupies the adjacent valley. Off the bridge I spotted some small brook trout. After a bit of examination I tied on an Elk Hair Caddis and flicked it into the culvert. Up came a perfect wild brooky!
While I sat and waited for my ride a gentleman in a pickup truck stopped and rolled down the window. He asked if I had caught anything. We exchanged conversation for a little while. He lives close, and fished this stream his whole life. Apparently there are some big natives in it, up to 14 inches. Will I be fishing this stream again? Yes. Yes I will.