Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trout Getting Better Educated

Only a few days into the catch-and-release season on a Delayed Harvest stream near home, the fish are already far better educated than the afternoon after I helped stock them. The stream isn't very large, and it's pretty popular, so I'm guessing most runs had a lot of fishermen wading through them over the weekend, and more than a few fish were caught and released a time or two. The runs are still full of fish, and you certainly can still coax them into biting. You just have to work for them a little more.

Interestingly, today the fish clearly favored a little larger jig than the tiny ones I normally throw in small trout streams. I don't know if the bigger head got the down to them more effectively, it less looked less like the flies they have seen a lot of in that stream, or maybe it matched some natural forage, but the preference seemed pretty evident. I may try the same stream again on Friday, so we'll see if the same thing holds true.

Nathaniel and I caught all three species that get stocked in today's outing. We also explored more of the stream than I'd seen before, which was fun. The lower end gets less fish because of stocking practicalities, but it's wilder than the upper part and really pretty.

The only bad part about today's outing was that I broke one of my favorite rods -- one that I very often reach for despite a missing first guide and a stripped reel seat that had been fixed with tape. I was just one of those rods that felt good in my hands and that I couldn't not grab when I was going to be fishing a small stream for trout or casting little lures for bluegill. And I wish I could blame a big fish or maybe an unfortunate fall as I tried to get to some difficult spot. Nope. Stubbed it on the ground in a field at the end of the day because I was looking at my phone instead of watching where I was walking.

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