It's always a grind trying to catch a sea run brown on a fly. Ron Merly, a CT expert on sea trout, almost never uses a fly rod for them because they are incredibly skittish as far as line hitting the water, shadows being cast, and wading go... after all they have a lot more at stake than their stream resident brethren... it isn't often that gator blue fish and breeder stripers go far enough up the creeks to pose a risk to the resident trout! That is why I am still very pissed that I didn't get a photo of the only sea run brown trout I've caught, and why I am determined to put in the work required to get another one. Hopefully it ends up being bigger.
Today was one of those days when everything seemed perfect. No wind all day, grey sky, an excellent tide, and bait fish schools all over. I worked my butt off. Made some of the best casts I've made in my life too... when you make an 80 foot roll cast with a 12 foot leader and put a beadhead woolly bugger right next to a school or rolling spotfin shiners where there just has to be a big brown, you feel pretty darn proud of yourself. I even looked around to see if there was anyone watching. Then I remembered I had slogged down river, off trail, across a few sloughs, through deep mud and thick wet reeds. There wasn't a soul around, and I was perfectly OK with that. After all when someone is watching me I can rarely cast like I can when I'm alone. I could just be lying, but remember this: I fish just about every day and when there's too much snow to go I just cast in the parking lot cross the street from my house... if you can't cast 90 feet with an 8 wt after casting 300 days a year for four years, you need to buy a spinning rod.
I fished one back slough that looked great... lots of lay downs, plenty of currant, and tons of mummichogs darting around int the shallows. Nada... no fish seen, no fish hooked.
Now the big question; did I catch a sea run brown trout today? Nope. I got completely skunked. I could easily have given in and gone bass fishing, but that is not how you play this game. I fished 11:00 to 3:45, and covered more than a mile of river. I did see a few fish in one spot. I came around the corner to a flat bellow on of the first rapids of the river and in a spot that I call the rock garden three big trout spooked. The smallest was 17 inches, conservatively, and they were all very heavy fish. I had gotten foolish and didn't approach the spot carefully enough. The hunt continues tomorrow, this time starting where those fish were and going upstream. May luck be on my side... there is hardly another fish that requires so much luck and skill to catch.