Saturday, April 8, 2017

Opening Day 2017

Unless my plan is to go people watching instead of fishing, I stay the heck away from the big rivers on opening weekend. Instead of standing shoulder to shoulder for some stocked trout that have yet to even eat a natural insect or fish I go stand in the middle of the woods by a stream with no stocked fish at all, either alone or with a close friend or family member. Often, actually I should say usually, I'm with my dad. Today we were out for a little while on a favorite small stream. Alan and Kirk showed it to me a few years ago and though I don't visit it often the variety of fish it holds keeps me interested. Brookies, browns, even the odd tiger or rainbow!

Until today the only fish I had caught there were brook trout. Today, however, the first to hand was a lovely brown that leaped out for the Ausable Bomber. I had been giving it little hops on the surface of a great little run that always holds a fish or two.

I knew there was another fish in the run so I let the bomber work through again. Twice a brookie came up and I missed both times. I gave Dad the spot and he cleaned up with a subsurface fly, catching the fish I had missed. If you are fishing with a buddy and you miss a fish a few times with the dry, you should always give them a shot with a wet or nymph. It often works.

I fished through one pocket with a Hornberg and again and again a fish came out for it but never was hooked. What struck me was how obviously green the fish was. It begs the question... could it have been the ever elusive wild tiger.

Eventually the hook found lip, but it was in a different pocket and the taker was a well dressed brook trout.

We ended the day in a spot where the fish and I have an ongoing battle. I know big ones live there, I have seen them. But I cannot catch them! Today my Walt's Worm fooled one of those ever-picky fish. I set the hook and felt a heavy weight. The fish then jumped. once twice, three times, all the way out of the water. I could see it was a buttery yellow brown trout about a foot long. On the third jump my barbless hook and the fish parted ways and I was left shaking my head. One of these days I will get you.


  1. It's great to see the water flowing so well.
    It's nice to see such a pristine setting just a few hundred yards from the buckets.
    Well done.

    1. It finally looked like it had the right amount of water, I', sure the fish were happy!

  2. Opening day is like an Easter egg hunt. You guys have the right idea of where to fish.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. I've never heard that description before but it fits.