Monday, June 23, 2014

Salmon on the dry...

Ok, ok... so that's a semi misleading statement - you will see why in a bit.

Last night I hit a local stream that does have a little bit of wild trout reproduction.  It flow's into a major reservoir, and that reservoir contains a lot of fish - large and small mouth bass, pickerel, lake trout, rainbow and brown trout, landlocked salmon and a host of other warm water species from white perch to crappies.  

This stream is running low and slow right now... but at times can be almost tricky to fish given the high flow rates this section can have.  it's not the total CFS, but the way it flows that can make it tricky.

My friend Scott texted to see if I'd be interested in going, and Rosemary gave the green light for a post dinner trip... that was a super wife kind of thing, because she's been working on proofing a "Purpose Statement" letter of mine as part of a grad school application... and she would have to get the two munchkins to hit the sack solo... If you have ever bathed twin 3 year olds... you know why this is hard.  If you have not... never mind... Just assume Rosemary is a saint :)

Back to the fishing.  I was late since Emily cut her toe right before I left... but the stream is only 15' from home, and our plan had been to arrive, go fish, and if one of us was late we could meet on the stream.  My lateness was augmented when I bumped into a cycling friend who was riding past where I parked.  So we chatted for a few minutes as I finished gearing up.

I settled on slowly working through a nice little flow, initially swinging a Picket Pin.  I caught a few - salmon par doing this.  It's crazy fun on this stream, especially this time of year.  Most fishermen are gone since the stocking trucks stopped rolling a month ago or more... so you get a nice stream to yourself... and it's loaded to the gils with salmon from 2-12" (occasionally a bigger one) plus a weird amalgamation of other fish.  You could literally catch a remnant stocked rainbow, a small wild brookie, a 8" largemouth that came up from the reservoir and a sun fish in the same hole on the same fly.  It's really a good time!  Just smash your barbs and have a good time.  And... know that in 3 months, adult salmon, some 2' long, start coming in and you can have some epic days - so long as you are ok with crowds... because the crowds stay home in the summer, but come out in the fall looking for those big fish.

If you look way off in the distance in the pic above, just where the water looks like it goes from fast to smooth, you can see Scott working his Tenkara rod and catching fish.  looks like a faint tan dot!

That's one of the first par of the night... After talking with Scott, he noted he was catching fish on a yellow palmer - his simple and effective "yellow sally" imitator.  Between his comments, and seeing fish coming up, I put on a new yellow sally I have been mucking with and started drifting that little dry... and catching par after par.  my only regret, was not bringing my 2wt - that would have been perfect.  The biggest were about a foot, and the smallest literally was about 2".  Scott caught a bunch including an 18" rainbow that is his largest Tenkara fish and his first pickerel (he's from Wyoming and just has never caught one).

This is the run where I did most of my catching.  I'm sure had I gone up or down, the results would be the same... but when you are catching... and seeing fish rise... it's hard to move just to move.

 This handsome little par, hopefully, will grow into a large fish that heads down to the reservoir and then comes back every fall for years providing exciting angling - catch or no catch.  You can see my little yellow sally in his mouth - bleached elk wing, cream hackle, yellow dubbing and red dubbing for a hot butt.

We finished the night walking down to the reservoir where minimuddlers fished in the film or stripped or popped caught innumerable sun fish, perch and Scott's pickerel that I mentioned above.  Now that I think of it, he had swapped out to a popper to catch that fish... 

A super fun evening for sure.  A great way to burn off some stress, and enjoy the local and great outdoors.

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