I generally avoid the opening day of trout season since I don’t enjoy the crowds carting their white buckets full of trout for the freezer. Instead, I opted to do some maintenance work at church and help get the house ready for some house guests who are visiting this week. I did however take the afternoon before opening day off and fished a nearby trout management area. These TMA’s are open all year round but are catch and release during the off-season. I had hoped that I would be able to find a little quite before opening day.
The stream was up a bit from the last time I visited due to a heavy rainstorm earlier in the week. Despite the increased flows the stream was clear and there were quite a few people out, warming up for opening day. After a little walk, I was able to find a nice stretch of stream to myself. In the first riffle/pool combination, I picked up a small brown on a bead-head pheasant tail and partridge (second from the left in the previous post). Although with the increased flows I was not confident that the flies were down where they needed to be. I opted not to add weight hoping to fish some spiders if fish began rising. It wasn’t long before I saw a splashy rise in some heavier shallow riffles above me. I usually pass up this location, so I decided to work my way up and take a look. I saw one more rise but nothing consistent. I was fishing a tandem rig with the bead head pheasant tail and partridge on point and a March brown wingless wet as a dropper. I worked the riffles and picked up a decent brown in the tailout. It’s always nice to pick up a fish or two from a new location. I’ll be checking this area again throughout the season to see if holds fish under more normal flows.
After a couple more drifts through the riffles, I moved up to a glide where I have seen fish rising over the past few weeks. Another brown took the pheasant tail in the shallows as a few early black stone flies began showing up on the water. There was a period of about 20-30 minutes of steady vigorous rises in the shallows. I worked through the adult stonefly patterns I had with me with absolutely no interest. After going through 3-4 different dries, I quickly switched over to a black spider on point and a grouse and orange dropper and greased the length of the leader. Fishing upstream, I was able to drift the flies a foot or two inside of the opposite bank in less than 1 ft of water. After a bulge near the flies, I lifted the rod and another decent brown was on. After releasing the brown, I saw another subtle rise and drifted the flies through the area and was pleased to see another bulge and a small brook trout attached to the grouse and orange. Catching a pair of fish on north country spiders made the afternoon for me. I am having a lot of fun with these flies, gaining more confidence with each outing.
The surface activity quickly shut down and I went back to the bead head pheasant tail and partridge/March brown rig and hooked two more browns on the PT but dropped both fish. These also came from runs I do often fish. Overall, another great afternoon.