Wednesday, February 15, 2017

PTHW Ep. 5: Streamer Heaven

For a couple hours yesterday I thought I died and went to streamer heaven. The sun was out, the air was warm, and for whatever reason every fish in the river seamed to want nothing but meat flies. I was fishing with Adam Klags. Before we got on the water I assumed he would easily out-fish me this day, given how effective Tenkara tactics tend to be any time fish are feeding on insects in the drift. I thought if anything I would catch a few solid fish on my Euro nymph rig. But after a few pathetic might-have-been takes and a lot of tangles I got sick of that and stuck on a short leader and an articulated streamer. There is only so much I can put up with when I'm not catching fish.


So here's the conditions... partly cloudy, pre-frontal, calm wind, air temp about 44, water temps mid-high thirties. Those are conditions that have given me a hard time as far as streamer fishing goes on more than one occasion. But not today. I had tied on a funky yellow fly that was basically half Ice Pick, half Meal Ticket in yellow and silver/pearl. The first pool I fished it in I got three ridiculously aggressive takes from a substantial fish. For the first take I wasn't even looking as I was talking to Adam at the time. The next two I was just loosing my mind and did not get a hookset. Once that fish was put down I put a cast across the next tailout upstream and jerk-stripped it across. It got hammered by an gorgeous little 8 inch wild brown.

Two more runs upstream and another small brown came out from under the bank and missed the fly. He did not come back. But, maybe 15 minutes later, in a super fishy looking riffle, I hooked up with a slightly larger brown, maybe 12 inches. And this one was colored up! Easily one of the prettiest wild browns I have caught recently. 




Then it happened. We got punked by wood ducks. They spooked every spot... pool by pool, run by run. EXCEPT one... a nice slow tailout. I made my cast and a fish can down after the fly. Two takes were missed. I thought it had spooked when it quickly headed back upstream. Nope. My third and final fish of the day. And the biggest. 


And then the conditions changes and the fish shut off. And that was the end of it.


10 comments:

  1. Very well documented. Thank you for that. No matter how many times I see it (big fly - small fish) I always shake my head.

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    1. If it fits even just barely, it gets eaten!

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  2. Rowan
    Amazing how those size trout will go after those big streamer patterns. Beautiful stream you were fishing, thanks for sharing

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    1. Only amazing if you haven't seen what the most prevalent forage is in that river... sculpins, shiners, and fallfish. One fallfish is a couple days worth of protein.

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  3. Good times! I'll have to bring my old sage 3 weight next time and try stripping some streamers too. Woild have been more productive.

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    1. It was a surprising day that oddly worked out in my favor... definitely looking forward to our next trip

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  4. That is a good day in the middle of February!! nice job!!

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    1. I agree. I've never had a streamer day like this in February!

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  5. WOW, those are nice Browns! Love to see the ducks, but not where I'm fishing. Your timing was just right.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

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    1. I have to wonder how it was earlier in the day. Had we been there 2 or 3 hours earlier maybe the bite would have been even better.

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