Saturday, February 25, 2017

PTHW Ep. 6: Meat Eaters

The more I fish it the more I'm realizing my PTHW is exactly what  look for in am excellent small river for streamer fishing: healthy macro invertebrate population leaning in favor of small insects like midges, mediocre water clarity most of the time, some but not many crayfish, a healthy run of suckers, strong fallfish and shiner populations and a run of spot tail shiners, and a low fish count but a very good average size for a river its size. Oh yeah, and sculpins all over the place! It really is tailor made for big flies that imitate bait fish.

That doesn't make it easy, it is still pressured marginal water with bad summertime temperatures and flows, but holds wild fish so I really don't care. And I know there are some giants in there. I just need to find them. Today I didn't find any monsters but I did put my time in and after a very long time with no signs of interest of any kind I finally got an eat.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves, catching is not the only thing of worth to come out of a good day on the water. Before I had even gotten to the river I had seen deer, osprey, and three species of hawk. As I was rigging up my rod I noticed a wood turtle in a tricky spot.

It had climbed up quite a steep clay bank and the slide marks suggested it was having a hard time finishing the job. I gave it a helping hand.

So, back to the fishing. After a while without any interest, no fish spotted, and seeing a couple other anglers who were also skunking, I had pretty much lost confidence. Then my tan, yellow and orange Maraceiver got absolutely pummeled. I laid into the fish with everything I had and got the hook buried firmly in the bottom lip. The ensuing battle mademe think I had nailed a 20, but when I got it to hand it was just another mid teens wild brown... this place is spoiling me. Every fish I've caught here has looked wildly different, running the gamete of different strains and sub strains we have here. This one is a color variant I have been trying to get in the Farmington for a while now... dark brown body with blue on the cheeks and big dark spots that are very round and well spaced, very similar to wild trout from the chalk streams in England. If you have seen the fish from this famous river you will notice that they are very often without red spots or only have dark ones on the caudal peduncle, as was the case with this beautiful specimen. 

Further upstream I was working my fly along a pile of woody debris when it was eaten by a pint size critter. 

Props to that little wild dude for eating a fly as big as him but I wanted something bigger. After covering lots more water and missing two good trout eats I got something bigger but it wasn't exactly the right species. 

A little unexpected but remember, Kirk caught a couple of these when we fished this river. It was good way to end my fishing as the wind was kicking up and I had to make tracks. A day of streamer fishing like this, at this time of year, can not be taken for granted.


  1. A good day and again I felt like I was there. Nice water, fish and critters. Thanks for the adventure.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

  2. Nice job helping that turtle out. I do the same if I see one in distress, most especially trying to cross a road. Might be the end of me some day, but I have to help them out.

    1. Yes, for the most part it is man kind that has put up the obstacles, we must help out when we can!

  3. RM that's a really fun day. Amazing to have a great bit of water like that close to home! Have to say, I feel for the critters who should normally still be resting. A friend posted a pic of a northern banded watersnake he saw while mountain biking Saturday, your turtle... Hope these critters can figure out how to settle back in to hibernaculums or other safe spots to ride out the finale of winter...

    1. Thanks
      Of course this one is close to my Dad's home so I couldn't visit it quite as often as my own home river, but I'm taking the opportunity to learn it as I'd wanted to fish there for a while.

      The animals know. They will be back in the ground the moment it starts to get a little chilly.