It's spring. Not really. It's spring according to the calendar. The weather disagrees wholeheartedly and we're going to get a bunch of snow tomorrow. I say it isn't actually spring until I see the first Paraleptophlebia adoptiva. That bug , for the last 8 years, has always been the real sign for me that spring fishing is here and the sluggishness of the winter trout feeding cycle has been replaced with manic binge eating. There have been quite a few years in which this hatch, my favorite hatch, comes off strong before opening day and I've had to travel further to fish it. There are a handful of options. The streams Mark Phillipe and I fished today, I suspect, would have been a really good option in those years. But I hadn't fished either until today, and there sure as hell weren't going to be mayflies hatching today!
I brushed the skunk away very quickly with a very healthy and good looking brown, followed a short time later by another smaller fish. We then covered an awful lot of water before catching another fish. The water was very cold in the morning, only 33-34 degrees, and it wasn't until it poked over 38 that the bite improved more.
I worked my way up the second stream, finding the kind of classic bend pools that almost always hold wild trout in these streams. Instead of the Ausable Ugly which I had fished all morning up until that point, I had tied on a Sexy Walt's Worm. I picked up a small brown and a small brookie, then a nice size heavily spotted brown, and, on the way back down, a good brookie. It was a short window of fast action.
Then there was something. A heavy, throbbing, angry something.
The battle, though not long, was a good one. The fish was a very good one. Not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely a small stream trophy. Size, however, just doesn't matter when a fish looks like this:
This was the perfect small stream wild brown trout. The don't get much better looking than this one.
Though it did not feel, smell, or look like spring, this was a good way to spend it. Good water and good fish with a good friend. If these things don't make you happy you should check your pulse.