Because of the wind and the lake of surface activity I chose to fish nymphs, specifically a Hendrickson nymph and an Ausable Ugly. I was into fish pretty quickly, nice average sized browns of very nice size. All of them leaped like crazy. I've caught wild browns in many other streams, but none of the leap like these ones. They often jump three or four times, coming clean out of the water, often as much ad two feet into the air! Some particularly spirited ones may jump as much as six time in an attempt to throw the hook, and yes some succeed. I lost three nice 10 inch fish today that jumped and tossed the hook.
The little guy bellow is a Iijoki strain sea run brown trout. Evidently he decided to wait a little bit before he heads out to the salt. I hope he has a safe journey so that I can catch him when he returns as a 24 inch adult.
This big old female was so beautiful. I have never caught a brown of any size out of the pool she was in either, and I'm starting to thing a lot of these fish are moving upstream this year since the first quarter mile has not fished well at all the past two years.
The further up I go, the more brookies I find, and today was no exception. I even had a giant brookie break me off, looked about a foot long. I know where he lives now. But most were tiny, like this little fella:
I rarely go up as far as this really deep, huge pool above, and though I have visited it on two occasions I never caught anything there. Today was different. The first fish I hooked was a one or two year holdover. The next was a truly special fish. It jumped three feet out of the water and fought using every bit of that pool. It's hard to imagine a 12 inch brown pulling drag, but these wild fish are much stronger than their stocked counterparts and had I been using my 3 weight I may have been out battled by this big, gorgeous fish.
There is not a stream in the world I would rather fish. If I had to chose to fish only one stream for the rest of my life, I wouldn't even have to think twice. It would be this one. This stream is where I feel most at ease, most happy, most at home. It is where I can just sit and laugh after hooking and loosing a nice fish. It is where I can have the most important conversations, conversations with owls, frogs, and fish. Nothing else matters when I'm on my home water, and there life is truly grand.