(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.