Originally written July, 2006.
I hit a popular local watershed yesterday with an eye for silver-tinted trout.
While the waters were low and warm in this pretty canyon, I threw caution to the wind and decided to teach the slippery little beasts some necessary life lessons.
Got up there at 7AM in the pull-out on that one particular road. This particular watershed has a lot of downed trees as well as lots of heavy brush lining the banks of the stream, so I took my time exploring various runs, riffles and pools, and eventually settled into a nice, relaxed routine.
Eventually, the clouds began to dissipate, and the warming summer sun enveloped the canyon in a deep amber glow. The ice-blue waters of the small stream danced between boulders, over fallen trees, and through notches in small granite gorges, revealing numerous prime trout lies every dozen yards or so.
I was using a Diamondglass 6’ 3WT this fine day; the conditions were perfect for this excellent small-stream rod. The rod worked like magic and, for the first time since I’ve had it in my possession, I was able to give it true, hard-core work out. It’s a blast to cast this thing on these tiny waters, and, honestly, I fell in love with the it. Yes, I love my rod.
I came upon a particular plunge pool visible from above that I simply had to fish – it looked perfect, a bathtub-sized hole right smack in the middle of the log jam. I made my way over, under, and through the deadfall, and soon found myself drifting a #16 beadhead Prince nymph through the pool. On my third drift, I was the lucky recipient of a vicious strike, and I found myself laughing out loud as I fought a typical Southern California dink in the tumbling waters:
Moments later, in another nice pool below the bathtub, the Prince yet again worked its regal magic:
A couple hundred yards upstream, I came upon a solid granite gorge with a nasty current splashing alongside one of the rock walls, featuring an absolutely delicious-looking eddy below a boulder at the top of the run. I cast my Prince near the eddy and was immediately hammered by a fish, which I had on my line for a brief moment until the trout decided to disconnect the call. “No big deal“, I told myself, and proceeded to work the eddy again. This time, a nice-sized ‘bow took the Prince, and she jumped, revealing a broad swath of red down her ample sides, with absolutely gorgeous, large speckles all over her top and sides. She was shaped like the business end of an oar, a fat, long rectangle with fins. D-a-m-n, I wish I’d have landed that beauty! That image of her in mid-jump will haunt me until the next time I return and successfully nail her.
This was, apparently, one of those locations that gives hapless fly fishermen chance after chance after chance. I hooked into fish over the next dozen or so casts, losing them each and every time, much to my dismay. However, this generous pool provided me with the rare opportunity to fine-tune my approach and, eventually, I managed to bring home my “fish of the day”, a healthy 13”-range beauty:
With that out of the way, I made my way car-ward and soon found myself sipping Horchata in AZuza. And here I’d been told the WF was a waste of time. Guess it’s how one chooses to look at life, right guys?