Saturday, February 11, 2012
February Dry Fly Fishing and Goodies in the Mail
Nick and I decided late last night to sneak out to the stream today, going against the wishes of our wives. These things unfortunately happen sometimes, and there's not much that can be done about it. :) When we got there, we realized we had the entire stream to ourselves. We had an inch or two of snow last night, and that usually turns most people away. Although it was still snowing, it was almost 40 degrees around 2pm, and actually quite comfortable due to a lack of wind.
My experience on this stream in February over the last two years told me that I needed to have some dry midges, but I wasn't 100% sure that would be the case today. As we rigged up, I refused to put a fly on. If I don't see bug activity right when I get there (the parking lot is very close to the stream), it usually means nymphing, but something told me I needed to check upstream before I busted out the lead and tungsten. A short three minute walk put us on some rising fish. I quickly picked out a size 18 Griffith's Gnat. These fish were pretty reckless with their rising, and I didn't think size would matter that much. I was going for a midge cluster, and it worked.
Within about 5 minutes, I was in to my first fish, a wild brown trout, about 10 inches, who was coming up every 15 seconds from behind a big rock. He took my fly on my second cast. As I brought him to hand, he did a quick head jerk and swam off. Not-so-long release, and I can live with that.
In the next hour hour I have two more bigger rainbows do the exact same thing, spitting my fly as I'm beaching them. I then finally realize that I had crimped the barbs when I tied these gnats. That explains it! It also reminds that I shouldn't leave for the stream without my net. Lesson learned.
I obviously didn't get pictures of these fish, but Nick actually took some video footage. I just got my hands on Adobe Premiere, so it will be a good way to get my feet wet with some advanced video editing. More on that later.
Nick unfortunately didn't have any small dries on him, so he had a tougher time. I gave him one of mine and he lost it in a tree. He headed out after that. I continued upstream and found another pod of fish rising. I brought a small brown to hand, and popped the fly without touching him. When they are only the size of your finger, it's better not to even get them out of the water.
Then it started to get cold, very very cold. Wind picked up. Snow picked up. The rises eventually stopped and I switched over to a smattering of midges, eggs, nymphs, and worm patterns. I covered a lot of water and threw a variety of flies at every feeding lane and holding spot. I picked up two fat rainbows, both of which I let go without snapping a pic because my hands were too cold. Not only did I forget my net, but also my half gloves.
So although this post isn't too photo-heavy with fish porn, I did snap a couple shots of Nick to test out Instagram's new filtering options with. I dig how they turned out. (see above as well)
When I got home, I was greeted with an envelope stuffed with stickers from The Fiberglass Manifesto. My ride is going to be covered with them. The new round pumped fist sticker is amazing. Thanks Cameron.
I've also been meaning to share a shot or two of the net I won from Tenkara Talk. This thing is beautiful and I almost don't want to use it. It might hang on the wall at the bar in the man cave until I get the balls to get it wet. Being a dumbass on Youtube can pay off once in a while.
Also as a reminder, if you are in to fly tying and want to join a terrestrial swap, head on over to OwlJones.com and sign up. Now, back to the beer. It's IPA nation tonight!