Suicidal Stockies...

They sure grow up fast.

I've been too busy working, traveling and, most importantly, fishing to spend much time on the ole blog; there's still a lot to be recapped...and a camera still in need of tech support.

Anyway, the default stream has been good to me over the past week. After scouting and sporadically fishing the "easy" pool since the beginning of the season, I finally started seeing trout there two weeks ago (holdovers? wilds?). Last week, the stocked fish showed up in numbers.

Granted, pellett fed fish straight from the hatchery arent my quarry of choice, but when you can be laying your line on the water, half an hour from work, without even needing to change your shoes...sometimes the default is hard to part with. Especially when the fish are on.

When they first showed up last week, they were dumb and hungry, as you might expect. Myself, being lazy, decided to leave the big fat beetle I had been using for panfish on the leader. They loved it. Rise to every cast, hookup every 3rd or 4th...hence "suicidal." Dozens of 6-8 inchers, and one 15" fish that pulled like he had been there longer than a couple days (though I'm sure he hadn't).

Fast forward to last night. Out of work at 6, straight to the stream to see what was going on, and due to a mishap while playing with some sunnys during lunch, my trusty beetle was gone. Good thing, because those stockies had already learned the game. They obviously aren't as discerning as wild fish, but they are becoming more selective.

I was greeted by swarms of black flies and brown spinners (no entomologist here, but I'd have to guess Ephemerella...Hendricksons? that's all anybody seems to be talking about this week). I didn't have any reliable brown mayfly patterns, so I did my best and went with a sulfer (darkest version I could find in my box). Bingo, close enough to at least make them look. Got a bunch of refusals, a couple of strikes, and one sorry looking, malformed humpback 6" brown before the air started to cool and the spinners started to give way.


Sporadic, random, lonely, gray/brown caddis skimming up-current. But, much more notably...caddis-emergence-rises.

As they say, you can tell a lot by a rise form. By now, the fish were barely feeding at the surface at all. The activity was dominated by subsurface boils and leaping fish (caddis emerge with speed, and it takes speed to catch speed). So I finally had reason to try what I've been wanting to for a while. Soft hackle hares-ear. I had heard of the violent takes (akin to swinging streamers) associated with fishing caddis pupae imitations. I had hoped that this would help me detect strikes in the waining light. And despite not catching anything over 8", that's exactly what happened.

Drift it in the film, subtle take, no big deal. Swing it across the current, hard take, but better strike early the fish can feel the line. Let it sink and and then let the current lift it at the end of the drift, they literally chase it out of the water. Can't wait to do it again...tonight?

(BTW, first "trout" on a "fly" for '08 was last week on the beetle...being the truck had just dropped them off and I got them on a foam fly...I don't know if that counts, but either way, after yesterday, the legetimate trout-on-fly season is on for me)


Flying Ties said…

Stockies are a lot of fun, and for experienced anglers... fun in the early season when little else is biting.
FoulHooked said…
They were a blast today too. Took my dad out (refuses to fly-fish) and saw plenty, got some strikes and landed three 8-inchers and a hefty 15-incher between us.

Now, if only they could stock fish that had fins that weren't nibbled down to nubs.

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