It's December, it's cold and raw out, snow is still on the ground in the hemlock forest, and there is very little sunlight to warm things up so I put the dries away for the afternoon and put on a pinkie ( a pink San Juan worm variation).
Both Kirk and I brought some nice brooks to hand fishing the pinkie. The fish were in the softer water as you would expect in this weather. One big brook took the pinkie in a narrow channel but I was unable to set the hook. After a second drift it rose again to chase down the pinkie and I missed again! After a few minutes, I tried again and to my surprise it attacked the fly a third time! This time the hook held and after a briefcase close range tussle, I was taking a picture of a lovely December brook.
As we were walking out, we spooked a trout lying along the bank in some wet leaf litter. I don't know why they do this but I have seen it many times in the winter months. The trout ran out in the current and we watched it settle into the current. I told Kurt to toss the pinkie out ahead of it to see if it would take it. Again the trout charged it twice and before Kirk could set the hook on the third attempt. All the brooks had pinkish bellies.