Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

It's coming to a close. 2014 was a darn good year for many. I had terrific fishing. I'd say it was my best year to date. Lets hope on December 31st 2015 I will be able to post highlights as good as these. Good luck, tight lines, wet nets, and good health in the new year.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Today kind of sucked....

It was cold.
I fell in. Twice.
I didn't get anything in the river I planned to fish.
I lost a brand new glove.
I lost one of my favorite streamers.

I'd rather not elaborate on any more problems, but I did move to my home water and caught some beauties. They saved my day.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sticking to Streamers

I went out after the rain this morning to check out my local carping hole. I was rather disappointed by the lack of activity. No jumps, no bubbles, no tailers. I tried for a while to get into a bass or pickerel but that didn't happen. I regrouped at home and hit the river with all the streamer gear I could possibly need. It turns out all I needed was one streamer and  my normal trout set up.
Yes, I know the handle is cracked. I plan to make a new one shortly.
I got a hit on my first cast. That fish never came back. I moved. I got two more hits. I moved again. Wham! A much better hit, followed by a flash. That one was a lot bigger! But he wouldn't come back either, so I moved again. I worked a big hole for a while, and finally at the tail a dull pull signaled the take. Although the fish was quite big, I made quick work of it. It was about twenty two inches, fat, and very ugly for a brown trout. I let him go hoping by the spring he will have grown those fins back a bit and gotten some color. 

As I went back downstream the sun was coming out and a fog hung over the river. Though I didn't catch any more fish I was enjoying the unseasonable temperatures.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Ghosty

Courtesy Malachi Lytle

Trust me, this dude was huge! It was as big as most I have seen, though there are a couple I have seen spawning in the margins of a very large lake that were probably pushing 50 pounds. And I am not kidding.

Water Foul, Crappie, and a Ghost

The outing today was successful, but not to the extent I hoped for. The lake was teaming with birds, which was somewhat problematic. They spooked if you didn't feed them, and therefor shut off any carp in the vicinity. My father opted to do photography rather then fish. I wandered the lake's edge to get the lay of the land. I made a point to memorize structure and places where I could see mud kicked up. Then I went to a small pond downstream, where I saw but couldn't take a small carp. I did, however, hook into this pretty little crappie.

When I made my back around the big lake all of the mud spots were gone. I was complaining about the apparent deep water orientation of the carp when I noticed a big light stain in the water. I did a double take. This was a huge ghost carp, a light variation of common carp that I had not heard about in the U.S.. I know they are fairly common in British waters. And this one was probably over the thirty pound mark. I cast my fly with a good lead and he passed it as it sank. Then it got to about his level or hit the bottom and he turned back around and went for a closer look. I twitched it and hew moved off. I don't know if I will ever see that monster again. I sure hope I do. I'll post pictures when my brother, who had joined us, sends them to me. 
We decided to go check out some streams at the end of a big reservoir, but they were smaller then I remembered and held no trout. I was a bit disappointed, but the reservoir and surrounding hills made for some spectacular photography. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Going for the Weird Stuff

Today I was thinking a bit. I saw some bass in one of the ponds I passed on my way home today. There wasn't ice. Maybe, just maybe, the carp bight isn't over. I talked to my father, who has not yet joined the fly carp crowd, into joining me to a pond in a park where, hopefully, we will hook into carp and catfish on chartreuse woolly buggers. Not normal for this season, but that is one of my favorite ways to go about my life. Maybe I'll try some of these cool burrower nymphs I've been tying too:

Stone Flies and Brook Trout

Today felt like a good day for Brook Trout and dry flies. So I went out into the woods. I hiked a mile before coming to a power line. There I followed the paths left by deer, which were lined with princess pines, moss, and lichen. 
 Then I got to the stream. Stoneflies were going, but I didn't see rises so I tied on a prince nymph. I didn't do well. I caught one fish, and it was the same deformed one I caught last time I fished this spot.

 And so I went elsewhere. When I got there there were risers. I fiddled with a few dries before I found a parachute adams to be the sweet spot. I caught a ridiculous amount of fish on that fly.

A few also like the bomber.
Then I got to a plunge pool. I took one fish with a skated bomber. I wasn't getting more takes. This seemed like a multi fish spot. So I changed to a bucktail. First swing a good fish took and I missed. It wouldn't come back. I changed to a worm pattern. A few drifts sealed the deal, and I landed a stunning char.

Woo hoo! Look at those colors! A marvelous creature. One of the prettiest of the year. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2 Fast 2 Furious

I love moments like this! I can't wait until spring, when mayflies will be dancing and a thunderstorm in the distance adds a sense of urgency.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a safe, happy holiday season. Enjoy the last week of 2014, it was a good year.

Tight Lines, R. M. Lytle

A Rainy Christmas Eve Morning, Filled With Healty Trout

The last time I fished on a Christmas Eve, I caught a spectacular wild Brown Trout, the likes of which I have not touched since that day. To celebrate the one year anniversary of that catch I went out to spend the morning on that same stream.
This time of year nymphing is the way to catch the fish, and as much as I prefer dries and wets, and streamers for that matter, I started fly fishing using nymphs and I'd like to think I am a sort of pocket water nymphing Jedi master.
Although I started out by missing four nice fish, I eventually got in the groove and caught a colorful acrobatic brown. The cast after I released that fish I hooked into a bigger one, but by the way it fought I am certain it was foul hooked. I wasn't disappointed, therefore, when it got off.

Then I had to put my Nymph Jedi skills to the test. A large branch had been washed down during the runoff and was lodged above the tree shown above. Normally I'd hook a few fish right where it was sitting, but clearly that wasn't happening today. So I got into position to high stick into the pool on the right side of the tree. I had to cast carefully to avoid hanging in the branches, but I eventually got the fly where I wanted it. The line went tight and I was in to a fat wild fish. This is where things became really difficult, as I had to cross the log and weave through the branches as the trout peeled line down the fast water. I made it to a spot where I could land the fish safely and was relieved he had stayed on.

Further upstream I was hopeful that I would pull a bunch of trout out of a deep riffle above another fallen tree. Unfortunately the tree had moved and the riffle was gone. The next tree had come down in a landslide some time ago and formed a good pool. I had yet to catch anything out of it. Today, however, I had a good drift and this big fellow took:

In a long stretch of pocket water I eked out two more wilds and sight cast to a stocked brooky from who knows where. The pink worm won that guy over. By that point the rain became unbearable and I called it quits. I was home before 1:30.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Spectacular Salmonid, and the Last Cast Phenomena

Having extra time this evening I went out to fish. I chose a section of my home river that I don't fish quite as often as the upstream stretch. It has some natives and a few browns, but you are far more likely to catch salmon parr and stockies. Today I caught salmon par, on the same pink fly the brookies liked so much on Sunday. In one riffle I pulled out four parr. That is just to give you an idea of the population. The state dumps so many in there. One that I caught in a deeper hole was probably the prettiest fish I have ever seen. If angled a certain way, this fish's flanks appeared devoid of red spots. But angle it differently and the whole fish would glow with iridescent copper-crimson dots. It was spectacular, and not what I expected. The photo just doesn't do it justice, which is very frustrating.

As gamy and fun as juvenile leapers are, I wanted to catch a trout of some sort before leaving. Eventually I came up to the pool I had chosen to stop at. Third cast I nailed into a very nice holdover Brown. It fought brilliantly. The cast after that, I caught a small wild one. Only the second wild Brown I have caught in that stretch. 

So I ended the day with two browns because of something akin to the last cast phenomena, and because of that terrific little pink fly. Tomorrow I will be out, because it is the one year anniversary of the capture of a 22 inch brown from this very same stream, and though I won't fish the same stretch maybe history will repeat itself.