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Thread: Fishing with Thyself

  1. #1

    Fishing with Thyself

    I had only fished this section of water once before, and it was with good success. The lower stretch is decent brown trout water. There are lots of large, deep pools interspersed with smaller plunge pools and runs. There are several small waterfalls scattered through this area as well. It also has a few brookies that have dropped down from further up in the drainage. They become more prevalent as you travel upstream. The creek eventually splits with one fork holding browns, and the other, nothing but specs. The plan today was to start in the lower, mixed water area and get my brown trout fix. At the junction, I would switch gears and pursue the natives.

    Things started off pretty well. Due to the number of large deep pools, I rigged up with a weighted nymph and indicator. Despite the recent drop in temperatures, the browns were quite active. I quickly caught three nice browns where the current picked up speed as it funneled between the rocks at the tail end of a pool. I missed a few other strikes from the same location.






    I then moved to the head of the pool and caught two more browns. I also landed the first brookie of the day.


    I pulled a couple more fish out of the next pool. Then I came to a waterfall that was too difficult to scale. I didn’t remember it from the last time I was here. The only alternative was to work my way up the bank, through the rhododendrons, and drop back down above the falls. A short way up the hill I found a faint game trail which made the going a little easier. The trail continued on an uphill trajectory as it worked its way around a ravine. I looked through trees back down towards the stream. Every time I got a glimpse of the creek I could see nothing but roaring, white water and another small waterfall. I could still hear the water quite easily. It sounded fast. I was a couple hundred feet above the creek at this time. “Man” I thought to myself. “I don’t remember any of this from last time. I could have sworn I fished through there.” I thought about taking my rod apart and beating my way through the brush back down to the water. However, I didn’t want to find myself in a predicament where I would have to take my rod apart again and work back up the steep, brush choked bank in order to keep moving forward. I decided to follow the game trail a little further.

    Eventually, I realized I was doing too much walking and not enough fishing. I came to a place where the forest cleared and I was able to make my way down to the water. The stream was smaller and narrower, and had a different personality from what I was expecting. Then, I realized what I had done. I bypassed the rest of the main stream brown trout water and dropped back down on the brook trout tributary. “What have I done? All those deep, beautiful pools full of aggressive fall browns – waiting, yet going undisturbed.”

    As quickly as my brief brown trout bonanza had started, it was over. But, I wasn’t ready for that yet. I had only gotten a taste of something great. Instead of being a fix, it only increased the craving. This was going to torment me. I imagined my thoughts of disappointment echoing through the valley. “No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!”

    Instead of backtracking, I decided to make the most of my screw up. After all, I was in a place I eventually wanted to be anyways – just a little faster.

    I rigged up with a dry/dropper and quickly caught a couple of brookies.


    After that they became uncooperative. It was almost two hours before I got another strike. Suddenly, I found myself caught in a cognitive battle, torn between heading deeper into the woods chasing disobliging specs versus going back after those willing browns.

    “Surely the brookies will turn on,” I said to myself. “What if they don’t?”

    “You’ll be wasting your time,” I responded.

    “What if I go back after those browns and find it to be too much work accessing each pool, having to break down my rod and re-rig each time I crawled up and down a brush covered bank?”

    “You’ll be wasting your time.”

    “I got through there ok last time.”

    “Maybe the flow is higher this time. It might be dangerous through there today. You need to get to know that water better before you take unnecessary risks.”

    “You’re a pessimist.”

    “So am I.”

    “Huh?”

    And on it went. And so did I/we. Sometimes, when you’ve travelled this far it’s best to just keep going.

    Well, around 4:00 the brookies finally came to life, sort of. I caught three or four over the next 45 minutes. Nothing big though. I even caught a couple on the surface. Up to this point they had showed no interest in the dry.


    On the hike out I found another game trail that ran a little closer to the stream. As had been previously suggested to me, I studied the water, trying to get to know it better for the next outing. I mostly looked to see if it might be navigable, and if not, whether there were any easy access/exit points.

    Until I return, thoughts of this water, and those browns, are going to haunt me. I know where my next fishing trip is going to be. And it will be in short order. Next time though, I’m going by myself.
    Last edited by Lone Wulff; 02-28-2013 at 08:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Now THAT reminded me of the "old days" here at smallstreams! Terrific post!

  3. #3
    Those are the kind of trips that say it all !!! It is special smallstreams like that, that remain a cherished place in our heart . It is smallstreams like that that are the very reason we continue to do what we do !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    smallstreams.com supporter and plankowner
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    295
    You need to be more cautious arguing with that guy on the stream. You might end up in a fight that you can't win. Thanks for reminding me that we all have these "issues"

  5. #5
    Yes, that's a kind of typical small mountain stream fishing.
    Show us photos of the stream next time, if it's OK for you.

  6. #6
    Super read...I have had those arguments with myself on the stream.

    Great photos...thanks for sharing.

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