Monday, July 11, 2011

Current River 7/9/2011

Access:  Baptist
Time Fished:  7:00 AM-3:00 PM
Weather:   Low 90's and sunny, morning fog
Flow:  115 cfs
Water:  Normal clarity

After spending way too much time fishing for bass and bluegill I finally got to go do battle with the trout......and the canoe hatch.  Speaking of hatches, the tricos  were hatching pretty strong in the morning although I didn't see any risers.  This might have been partly due to the layer of fog on the water hiding them but the trout do seem to ignore this hatch sometimes.  I actually considered the fog to be a bit of a blessing since it helped hide me from the fish's view.  I started out how I generally do at Baptist by Czech-nymphing the long run after the parking lot.  I generally do this more or less half sight and half feel but I couldn't see my sighter through the fog so it was all feel today.  I don't know if they were just really bite happy or I was "in the zone" but it went very well.  I caught quite a few rainbows, a few little wild ones, but no brownies at that point.  

By the time I got to the split the fog was starting to lift and the canoe hatch was on full blast, so it was time to sit on the bank and remember why I usually come down on weekdays.  None of them were too exciting, just a lot of "How's the fishing?".  Although one group seemed dead set to run into every piece of debris in the river and a little kid wanted to know if I was a "hillbilly".  Apparently his parents had warned him to watch out for hillbillies on the river.

I continued to catch nothing but rainbows all the way to the S-bend.  A few were nice including one fatty I caught at the split hole.  I hooked it on the right side and ended up landing the fish on the other side of the split.  At the bend I decided to switch up from the Czech set up to a frenchy leader.  At the beginning of the day I was catching almost everything on my anchor (a #8 Polish nymph) but as the sun kept rising I had more and more fish wanting the smaller flies I had as dropper.  The French set up is great for these smaller flies.  I used a #12 tungsten beaded hare's ear (tied on a jig hook) as my point fly for the rest of the day.  I'm really starting to like these jig nymphs since they don't get hung up on the bottom as easily.  I ran various smaller nymphs as my dropper.  Fishing stayed pretty consistent the rest of the day.  I'd wade a leader's length down, work the water up and across towards the bank and then wade another leader down.  Eventually, I finally got into a few browns.  None of the browns were of very good size but I did catch some nice rainbows.

There were a few memorable moments.  One was what could of been my first ever double.  I briefly had one on each fly.  I realized this a couple seconds before the one busted off my dropper.  There was one other fish that I can't get out of my head;  it got away of course.  I was working an undercut when my sighter just barely twitched.  I set the hook into something big.  After putting all the pressure my 4wt and 5X tippet could handle I finally got it close enough to see.  HUGE BROWN!  It definitely would of been my personal best.  Once it saw me the fish decide to get the hell out of there.  It took off downstream while I frantically tried to stop it and  about the time I started to see backing on my reel there was nothing at the end of my line.  I'm not  going to say where I hooked it but rest assured I'm going to hammer that spot from now on.

I got almost all the way to Ashley Creek before I decided to head back up.  I thought more about the ice cold cooler waiting for my at the parking lot than fishing but I still caught a few on my way back.  It was easily my best day as far a numbers go this year.  The canoe armada was pretty big but luckily they almost all came at about the same time.  The afternoon lock jaw wasn't that bad either.  It just required a change in tactics and some smaller more drab flies.  All in all it was a great day.