Sunday, May 3, 2009

Soft Rain, Blue-winged Olives and Trout

When I stepped into the river today, a soft rain fell on the freshly emerged leaves above and on the water, covering its surface with small rings. The sound was somewhere between a hiss and a slow boil. The windless air was cool and full of the smells of spring, and tiny, dark olive mayflies.

Along the far bank, there is a wide, smooth flow that widens as it moves downstream. A broad canopy of an angled maple creeps over the flow toward the center of the river like a many fingered hand. Trout were rising at different locations throughout the 30 yard slick, to sip the hatching olives before they could take flight into the humid air.

The gap between the fingers and the water surface averages maybe three feet. In other words, my challenge would be to drop a tiny fly under the branches and onto the water surface below and get a drag-free drift of at least a couple of feet to a rising target, without getting hung up on the branches above. Lots of sidearm casting made even tougher by imposing branches hanging over the water behind me.

The verdict....the fish were silly with hunger. As long as I made a good reach cast and got my fly to land below the leader and line, a feeding trout would cruise up under my fly. Sometimes they would just look, and other times they would open up and sip in my offering. After taking several nice trout from the run, I worked my way up the long run, casting to rising trout as I went.

I had planned to work in the yard today, but the weather put me on the water instead. So instead, I enjoyed two and half of the most peaceful hours one could ask for.

Did I mention I took of Friday, got up at 5:00AM, and worked volunteering for the state stocking trout in the Musconetcong River? Three grown men in a big pick-up loaded with an oxygenated tub and hundreds of trout driving into hard to reach places along the river to release trout. Rick drove, Rich stood on the bed of the truck and loaded trout in a bucket, and I ran them down to the river. It was humid, wet, muddy, messy and by the end of the day I was soaked to my knees (no waders, the thorns would have destroyed them). That was a blast, and I plan on doing it again in a couple of weeks.

We fished the Musky yesterday, covering about two miles of river and getting lots of exercise. It was up from rain and turbid, but I did manage to take two fish. Here's a couple of photos from yesterday.

Life is Good. One of these days I'll even get more done in the yard.

1 comment:

Cutthroat Stalker (scott) said...

Nice post Matt. The yard can wait! A fishing day like you had? That can't wait!

I enjoy your blog.

-scott c