I've made my decision already. I'm going to fish my home river on Christmas Eve. The water levels could be perfect, high and discolored. I'm going at it the way I always do this time of year, heavy and deep. Streamers, nymphs, worm flies. That's what works. If I come home without a wild trout of any size, I will honestly change my focus to a different stream. But if I catch something beautiful and healthy, then that will be the best Christmas present the world could give me this year, just like these amazing gifts I have received the past two years:
Monday, December 21, 2015
Ghosts of Christmases Past
It has been a pretty good year for me as far as fishing goes. But I have missed one thing, starting in mid July. While I was letting the wild fish in my home water rest through the heat that river, the place that really got me into fly fishing quietly shriveled and died. There are still wild trout there, for sure. And there are most likely a number of sizable browns that are still kicking in some of the deeper pools. But I've had to accept that it will be a while before my home water is back to what it was four years ago. In 2012 I fished the creek about 20 times during the fall. The biggest wild brown I caught was 18 inches. The average size was 8 inches, but there were plenty of mid-teens fish. On Christmas Eve in 2013 I caught my biggest ever wild brown trout out of the Bridge Pool, a 21 inch male the likes of which I have not landed since. During the past three years I have watched my stream fall apart. Each fall the water has gotten lower, and each year the average size of the fish has decreased. After this spring I was extremely hopeful. It was a tough winter, but all spring I caught numerous gorgeous and sizable wild trout.