I had the day off from work Thursday and since my honey do list was complete, I did a little fishing.
First place I hit was a small creek just up the road that is full of stockies and the crowds that follow. While there are some hold over trout and a few wild fish in the upper reaches, the typical trout from this particular stream is the pale cookie cutter , small finned, stockie. Not really my thing, and after catching several of them I took a walk to a fairly difficult spot to access.
In the past I have caught some of those few and far between holdovers in this section and after about the third drift through a nice seam with a pheasant tail nymph, I added to that tally.
It was a nice brown trout, and I should be happy to have a trout stream so close by, but it just was not the experience I was looking for. So I hiked back to the car, then drove by a couple other spots on the river which all had cars at them and headed home.
Once home I checked the water level of another area river on the usgs site.It looked ideal,but this river is about 35 min's away, and by this point my wife would be home from work shortly, so I decided against going.
While eating dinner I kept thinking how the water level and water temp were just about ideal for the other spot.
Forty five minutes later I was pulling off the road next to the river. I only had 2 1/2 hrs of day light left,so I quickly made my way down stream ,past several nice runs to the "hole". Sitting on the bank tying on my http://www.anglersflybox.com/phtapa.html"go to fly" for this spot I could hear fish gulping flies off the surface.
The pool is tricky, its deep,with deceptively swift currents between the bank and the slick the fish feed in. I love it. After a few moments I had my target picked out. This was the experience I was looking for. Wild, selective trout, 6x tippets, and difficult drifts.
He just kind of slurped the fly off the surface, made the heavy head shakes that big browns do, then bull dogged around the hole before I finally slid the net under him. A beautiful brown trout,fat,bright colors, full long fins,and sharp teeth. Just one trout like that, to me, is more rewarding than catching dozens of hatchery fish.
After releasing the brown back to the pool , I noticed a large trout down stream from the other fish rising, making the classic head,dorsal, tail rise. First cast to him he took , and snapped my tippet like it wasn't even there. I'm kind of happy I didn't land him, that fish will be my goal for the next trip out.
A perfect way to finish my day off.