Monday, April 11, 2011

Warm water is here

Finally its time to hit the small ponds around my house chasing bass and pan fish. On my last trout trip I stopped to fish a small pond pond by my in laws house. I caught a few nice bluegills and a small bass. This was the first time I had fished for bass and pan fish since last fall and I was very happy to break in my new three weight I had to purchase after an unfortunate incident with a car door, ouch. This past weekend I was blown of course on my way to the current river by a freak storm and had to change my destination. I went home and nervously tied flies until the storm had passed and went out to my small lake out in the county. I tied on a sweet new fly my friend Chris tied his blog I caught a short bass, two bluegill, and one ravishing redear sunfish. The next day I fished again after a storm and used a TSW or as I like to call it a secret garr weapon and caught another good redear. So far the fishing at the pond was turning my unfortunate trip for trout into a very nice warm water experience. The water was still very cold and the fish haven't put on their spring tuxedos yet but I was happy bug these guys out of their happy little holes to take a few pictures of them. The conditions where nice enough to wear a t shirt but the wind complicated my casting. The upside to fishing in the early spring is that there are less things to hook because their are very little leaves in the trees. My last cast landed next to a big stick in my favorite cove and as soon as I twitched the fly my line went zinging off the reel. I caught a nice bass for me and left for a short ride home and a little lunch. A great couple of days.

Today is the day

I have been talking with friends and reading posts of people going down to the current and catching brown trout. Ever since my first trout on the fly rod I have hoped to catch a beautiful brown or Brooke trout. I have been tying flies all week in preparation for this trip all week and I had even made some flys that truly surprised me. I worked on a zonker furr fly with an articulated back with two hooks. The rest of the flies where a combination of zonkoras and slumbusters. I arrived at the parking lot around nine o'clock. I wadered up and hit the water and threw my streamers over and over again. After two hours I switched to a soft hackle for the rainbows and fished a riffle and landed a small fish. When I brought it to my hand I almost wept at the perfection which wriggled and undulated in my hand. It was a perfect representation of a brown trout in miniature around five or six inches. I was thrilled to see it and after a conversation with my friend Will, check his blog here I found out that this trout is probably a stream born little guy. I caught another brown with the soft hackle and he popped out of my, hand must have been camera shy. I received a little insider information and quickly moved up stream above my usual place and fish new to me water. The river up there is breath taking and I spotted a few nice browns but I spooked one and couldn't catch the other. I tied on my articulated bunny with a strung marabou collar and of course a little flash. I was in my element swinging the fly past large rocks and deep pools as instructed and had a few choice hits. Finally I hooked a decent brown on the second hook and popped him off close to the shore. I then caught another small sub stocking size brown trout to end the day as my body and mind where beginning to shut down. I decided to call it a day and head home leaving a little unfinished business to attend to on my return trip.

Winter in troutland

Winters in Missouri are usually intense and this past one was no exception. I discovered that the winter conditions enhanced the fishing in the blue ribbon trout areas in Missouri. I was thrilled to find the choice waters completely devoid of other anglers. These last couple of trips found me on the water in some pretty serious conditions. I made it to Tan Vat around eight in the morning and decided to try my luck with some streamers I had tied the night before. The weather was sketchy with some challenging winds and very low temperatures which meant ice on my guides. For about an hour and a half i swung the rabbit fur with one follow and no strikes. Like usual I became disheartened and started tying on all manner of flies in rapid succession. Every time I fish this river I start out dazed and confused until the first hour and then I start to figure it out and get into a routine. This trip was no exception as I stumbled upon a random hatch with fish rising like crazy. I tied on a small crackle back and loaded it up with Gerts Gink and began to hook up with trout after trout as they tried to inhale my fly. I fished a very familiar set of riffles as a group of anglers plodded up and down the stretch as I jealously hovered over my area. They worked down and then back up the section nearest the parking lot with out so much as one fish while I caught trout on the dry fly in January in very cold weather. There have been many times that I choose not to recall when the tables have been flipped and I have been the one watching a guy land fish after fish while I watch on. The hatch came out of no where and I couldn't tell exactly what it was but it must have been a gnat like bug because they were too small to see but the fish where hammering renegades, crackle backs, and Griffith gnats. While I had come to the river to swing the big flies I was pleasantly surprised to find rising trout voraciously taking my dry fly. By far this was the best fishing I have ever seen on the Current. i left the river and journeyed into the trout park because of the free winter catch and release season was in effect and I wanted to see how the fish looked within the park. I jumped in at a familiar stair spot that ends on what looks like a large rock. As I entered the water I slipped on the rock which was covered with a strange gunk and plunged ace first into the water. Water poured into my waders and it took me a minute to stop slipping and right myself. I quickly assessed the situation. It was still very cold so I switched into action mode and jumped out of the water collected my gear and changed my clothes at the car. I always carry a second change of clothes and in the winter it is vital to keep them in a dry pack because it doesn't take long o succumb to hypothermia. I decided this was a sign to call it a day so not wanting to tempt fate any further I jumped i the car and headed home. While it is the beginning of spring here now I cannot help but feel a strange urge for mid winter conditions on the Current.