Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Current River September, 2012

I arrived at the Baptist access before daylight.  The air temperature was around 50 degrees and a patchy fog hung in the air.  After finishing the last swig of a cup of coffee which had grown cold during the drive, I stepped out into the dark toward the sound of rushing water.  I started fishing over a large pool using a big black streamer.  I could hear an occasional splash as night feeders were smashing at something on the surface.  Once the faintest light appeared, I could see what they were feeding on.  Clouds of tricos filled the air and the trout were grouped into feeding lanes casually sipping them off the water with some indecipherable cadence.  With no trico patterns on hand I tied on the closest thing I had: a #14 white fly on 7x tippet, hoping to entice some confused trout.

After several dozen drifts over the feeding lane, one errant cast landed right on top of the feeding fish.  To my surprise a fish darted up and swiped at my fly, sadly the no hookset, but an interesting behavior to note.  I would have made nothing of it, but it happened again further upstream when casting at a different feeding lane I set the hook but it slipped out and spooked the fish.  Around this time the hatch had tapered off, so I switched to a #12 soft hackle and landed my first fish (a nice brown trout) casting this upstream and letting it drift back with no indicator, watching the end of my fly line for a pause in the drift.  I caught three more brownies using the same technique, 1 on the soft hackle and 2 on a #12 olive streamer, similar to a wooly bugger but with a yellow pheasant rump collar instead of a hackled body.

It was about time to turn around and head back downstream, and a good steady rain had started to fall.  I switched over to a #12 black wooly bugger with a bead head.  As I worked my way back downstream, I cast toward the bank angled downstream and left my fly swing across the current and dangle for a bit before moving downstream a few more steps and repeating.  I caught 3 more fish using this technique, all rainbow trout, one was nice sized.  Most fish were taken during the swing and I had two missed strikes, one on the swing and one on the dangle.  I will come back to the Current river some day, and when I do, I won't forget the #26 tricos.