Monday, January 15, 2018

Fish the bridge!

Alan, Kirk, and I met up for some small stream fishing today.  At mid morning the temperature was in the low teens and I don't think it got much warmer.  We did ok with ice on the line and in the guides early but when we headed up a small tributary the ice became almost unmanageable.  We were a bit surprised to see how much water the brook was holding from the heavy rains late last week and the large number of ice dams all along the brook.  Eventually we got frustrated with the iced up gear and called it a day.  Kirk had managed a small brown and a brookie and Alan had a couple bumps but I blanked.

Not wanting to get shut out for the second straight outing of 2018, I decided to try one last spot.  When it's the bottom of the ninth, with no runs and no hits, it's time to fish "the bridge".  In winter when the flows are higher and cold, bridges often provide some deep holes with softer water were fish can take refuge.  I've played this hand before on slow winter days.  After a quick thaw of the gear in the heated truck, some hot coffee, and renewed optimism, I went looking for bridge! Desperate times call for desperate measures and I am not above fishing junk flies.  It wasn't long before the squirmy connected with the first fish of 2018, a hefty rainbow especially for a small stream!


16 comments:

  1. Beautiful rainbow, Mark. You are right about bridges, they tend to make some deep holding pools for trout, the local small stream where I live is the same. Even when I am not fishing, I check them out and there are always trout as I take a look down from the bridge.

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    1. Sam - thanks, I've played that card before in the winter so I thought it was worth a try. This particular stream is not stocked, so that rainbow came from somewhere downstream a ways and has probably been living in that pool for a while. By the looks of it I would say it has been doing rather well there.

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  2. Mark, cold it was...but I see you were rewarded with your first of 2018. That rainbow is in beautiful shape.

    Alan

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    1. Alan - it was a last ditch effort to find the first fish on 2018 but the hunch paid off. That fish has probably been sitting under that bridge for a while would be my guess. It certainly was cold out there.

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  3. Mark
    Congrats on the first of the year. Looks to be a healthy one too!!

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  4. Handsome rainbow! Always fish the bridge!

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    1. Thanks Rowan! It's funny that I haven't found a fish under that bridge in warmer weather but in the cold months I can often find one.

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  5. Mark
    Absolute gorgeous rainbow taken, amazing how colorful the native trout are compared to the stock trout. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Bill - it was a big rainbow for such a small stream! Most likely a hold-over that moved in from somewhere further downstream

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  6. Mark, I know there are times at home I have trouble locating trout in the winter, but the bridge at the run never leaves me down, beautiful trout. Admire your perserverence.

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  7. Brad - It was a rough day out there and I think the water temp was just a hair above freezing which explains why our gear was icing up so much but having an option when you need it is wonderful.

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    1. Domenick - thanks very much! Thanks for the great posts you put out on your blog Troutbitten! I find them full of helpful information in them and I read them often. Keep up the good work!

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  9. I to am ashamed to admit I have in the last week or two succumbed to the squirmy as well. For the grayling..

    Andy

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    1. Andy - I don't tend to worry about what is and isn't a "fly". I've been using a pink chenille worm for the last couple of winters since another small stream angler showed it to me. I couldn't believe it works but it does and the squirmy in my book isn't all that different.

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