Thursday, June 21, 2012

Current River Report

Date:  6/14 & 6/18-19
Time:  All day
Access:  Baptist and Parker
Water:  Still low, still clear

First a quick report from last Thursday.  I had the day off and hit up Baptist.  Not to sound like a broken record but it was low n' clear, we need rain and you know the rest.  On the trip downstream I used my usual mix of Euro-nymphing styles and the newest incarnation of my long leader.  Trout were caught, nothing too big nor in any amazing numbers but plenty to make a good day.  After wading way too far downstream I wasn't feeling too energetic for the return trip so I switched leaders and went the dry/dropper route.  I didn't fish too hard as I was mostly thinking about the cooler in my trunk but I did manage a handful heading upstream.  Most came on the biot nymph but a few did come up to take the klinkhammer.  Oddly all of the dry caught fish were browns.  Once back home I went and got my paycheck and to see the schedule.  Amazingly I had Monday and Tuesday off.  Back to back days off are disturbingly rare for me so I quickly decided I'd take advantage and head back to the river.

I decided to camp on a sandbar by Parker.  After setting up camp and cleaning up after whatever d-bags left the area covered in cans it was time to wet a line.  The first thing I noticed was how warm the water was.  It was still cool but not the usual trout stream cold.  Bad sign number one.  A few hundred yards upstream from camp I catch my first fish.  Unfortunately it's a little sunfish.  Bad sign number two.  It wasn't looking too good for trout.  I kept working upstream and did eventually catch a couple little browns, not to mention a dozen assorted pan-fish.  

Heading back to camp until the sun started to drop seemed like the thing to do.  A good chunk of the trout probably migrated upstream to cooler waters and those still around were sulking, waiting out the sun and heat.  After some camp chores, a little reading and some exploring downstream the sun finally started to set.  I rigged up the 6wt with my sink tip and a big nasty streamer and hit the area right downstream from camp.  The stretch was real deep and littered with huge boulders.  In other words it looked like a good place for a hog brown to hide.  No such luck.  

(I hope whoever tried to light this tree on fire wasn't sober)

I beat the sun up on day two and returned to the deep stretch below camp.  It went marginally better than the previous night as I did have a brown flash my fly.  I also caught a little smallmouth.  I decided it was time to catch some trout so upstream to Baptist I went.  

My streamer rod was rigged and ready but I wasn't in much of a zero or hero mood so I rigged up my trusty 10ft. 4wt and long nymph leader version 4.0.  I finally have this leader more or less dialed in.  The fish were pretty willing takers.  I imagine the glo-bug crowd would have done well on Tuesday as they seemed to prefer my more gaudy patterns.  In the deeper/faster water the a big #4 Vladi-worm was slaying them.  In the shallow water a jiggy pheasant tail with a florescent orange tag did the trick on point.  As usual lately my secret weapon was on dropper.  The rusty brown biot nymph with the fire orange hot spot.  This fly has been performing extremely well all year.

Fishing mirrored my trip from last Thursday.  I nymphed downstream then switched to dry/dropper on my way back up.  I even used the same klink/biot nymph combo.  The fish seemed more eager to rise than the week before so long as my fly landed really close to the bank and in the shade.  Most of the rises were the violent kind you often see with hoppers.  Action slowed down for a while when me and a spin fisherman got bunched up.  We were the only two people on the river so it wasn't too hard to put some good distance between the two of us which, no doubt, helped both of our fishing.  

It was a good trip.  If Monday would of been like Tuesday it would have been amazing.  It's no surprise that Parker is a little rough right now but once Fall comes around I'm going to have to head back to this access.  I'm not too familiar with the water but it looks like great streamer fishing.  One down side of the trip was the severe lack of insect activity.  There were trico's in the morning but no risers that I saw.  The little dry fishing I did get in has me ready for hopper season.  I could actually see the dry weather being a plus for terrestrial fishing.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Current River 4/23/2012

Time: Dawn to Dusk
Flow:  95 cfs
Water:  Low and clear
Weather:  Partly cloudy
Hatch:  Caddis and Cahills 

Instead of heading to work Monday morning I headed to the gin clear waters of the Current.  The river is as low and clear as I've ever seen it.  Hopefully we get some spring showers to raise the rivers a little going into summer.  I was hoping for a morning hatch but no such luck.  I had anticipated the low, clear water and had a new french leader of around 20 foot all tied up.  I've generally used a coiled sighter in the past but tied this one with a drop sighter at the end.  This would allow me to easily just reel in line and switch over to the Czech/Polish method as the water dictated.  

It was pretty chilly in the morning so I decided to stick close to my car until it warmed up.  That way I wouldn't be a mile downstream stuck with my jacket when it got warm.  I got down to the split hole before turning around.  Around that time either the fishing totally turned on or I finally got a feel for the new leader/sighter combo.  I think it was mostly the second because instead of thinking, "oops, missed a strike" it was "fish on, fish on, fish on"  all the way back to the car.   

 With water and lunch in tow it was time to cover some water.  Shortly after getting getting back in I heard some swearing downstream.  Upon further inspection I found out a big brown had flashed the guy's lure.  Thinking back I'm sure the fish was totally spooked but when you're standing there looking at two feet of brown trout holding on bottom you completely think you can catch it.  We figured since it never actually felt the hook it might still be willing.  Both of us tried our best.  I drifted everything by it, even the couple realistic flies I carry.  I even busted out an indicator (gasp) thinking it might be a drift issue.  I did hook around a half dozen fish all around it including a rainbow that had us both fooled but neither of us got the big guy.  Eventually I had to cross my fingers that it would be there on the return trip.  It wasn't.  

I kept working downstream picking off fish.  It was a numbers day but I did get a few in the middle teens, the biggest being a 17-18 inch rainbow.  I would find them stacked up in the deeper spots but found plenty in shallow water also.  It's pretty neat catching them out of ankle deep water and the french set up worked great for this.  Another thing about fishing the shallow clear water is it makes you appreciate how well the trout blend in on the stream bed when they appear out of nowhere to take your fly.  It stayed steady all day.  My go to biot nymph in a #18 stayed on dropper most of the day and amounted for most of my fish.  My point fly switched as the water, and snags, called for.  The most successful of which was a pheasant tail jig nymph. 

 The only disappointing part had been the lack of dry fly action.  Luckily, just before I was going to leave, the bugs showed up.  I spied a number of rising fish upstream from the parking lot.  I switched out the nymph rig for a CDC and Elk and headed upstream.  No dice.  I switched to a size smaller.  No luck.  Switched again, I guess they're not taking caddis.  There were a handful of cahills around so I switched to a para-dun.  Nope.  CDC dun.  Missed strike, then total refusal.  Spinner, no.  Emerger, FINALLY YES!!!  There weren't many of the cahills on the water but I'm guessing there were plenty right under the surface because the cahill colored CDC emerger did the trick.  It must of took an hour to figure out what they'd take but I probably got in just as much time catching them until I couldn't see my fly anymore.

As far as numbers go it was one of the best days in a while not counting my trip on stocking-day.  I should be back down pretty soon so hopefully they say hungry.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ten things that ran through my mind on the Current

(Ashley Creek flowing into the Current)
    I fished the Current on Tuesday.  Much to my surprise, it also turned out to be the day of the spring stocking.  The fishing was fairly steady then the stocking boats floated by and I could hardly keep the little trout off my line.  It was enough to make me feel a little dirty.  Needless to say there's no need for much of a detailed report.  Over the course of a day spent casually whacking stockers hand over fist a couple of things occurred to  me.

1.  Freshly stocked fish aren't too bright.  This is part of the reason I almost never fish the parks.  They pretty much just cruised around a couple feet down eating everything in sight.  Oddly, nymphs right off the bottom were all the stockers didn't hammer.  However, nymphs right on the bottom is what the other more "quality" fish wanted.  
(~10" brown , I think I actually caught this one before they stocked)

2.  Fishing dries is fun.  No explanation needed here.  If they're eating everything of course I'll fish a dry

3.  Catching tons of freshly stocked fish gets old.  After a couple of holes I got sick of them.  I was nearly to Ashley Creek when the stocking boats showed up so heading back and fishing somewhere else wasn't in the cards.  The newbie fish were by the surface so I nymphed deep.  I still caught them but had occasional rainbows and hold-over browns to break up the monotony. 

(Sadly, the best fish of the day)
4.  Always be ready.  I half-assedly set the hook into what I assumed was a 10" brown.  I immediately realized I was wrong.  A brown in the high teens threw the poorly set hook around the time I got a decent look at it which brings me to my next point.

(NOT a big brown trout)
5.  There are some big fish in the Current.  Even though I don't catch one every time I fish it seems like I at least see one.  I lost that one, and saw two others.  One in the 20's flashed a rainbow I had on.  Poor wading scared off the other.  Again this brings me to my next point.

(One of many spots that needs a streamer stripped through it)

6.  Wading past Ashley Creek is a good idea.  The water down there just screams big brown trout.  Plus, you're almost guaranteed to have the area to yourself.  Throwing big streamers then camping on a sandbar has been bouncing around my head for a while.  I need to actually do it this year.  There is one down side to wading that far.  Wading back sucks.  It doesn't seem that bad when you're fishing your way down but that return trip is a killer.  I waded farther down than I ever have on Tuesday and I can still feel it.

7. The river could use some rain.  Low and clear; that's how I'd describe the river right now.  I enjoy the challenge but the problem is that's how the river's been since last summer.  Hopefully the April showers will come early.

8. Keep the river clean.  I always pack my trash out and make a point to pick up other litter when I can and it payed off Tuesday.  I more or less never use indicators anymore which works fine on most of the river.  There are a few holes under Ashley that are nearly impossible to nymph without a indicator.  Luckily I've found plenty in the bushes and tucked them away in random vest pockets.  Unluckily, it's been like two years since I've used one so my indy skills were incredibly rusty.

9.  Having a river to yourself is awesome.  I didn't see a single fisherman on the river.  In fact the people stocking trout were the only people at all.  I noticed a single car at Tan Vat so I guess someone else got the same experience.  There were plenty of people at Montauk but that goes without saying.

(Slightly too much fly for my 4WT)
10. Big flies might catch big fish, but small ones take them too.  After getting back to the parking area I decided I'd bust out my 8WT and this double articulated monster I tied the other night.  The plan was to fish until I lost it or caught something nice.  Neither happened.  I stood up on the concrete overlooking the parking lot hole planning on working the far banks.   Instead I watched as a handful of little brownies attacked a fly nearly their own length.  Time after time four or five would charge the fly from up to 15 feet off.  It was disturbingly fun but I guess catching 8 inch trout on a 8 inch streamer is as good a way as any to end such a goofy day fishing.