Friday, February 16, 2018

Sometimes A Small Stream Can Give Up A Big Fish

Mid February, the whole of brook trout forest takes on the look of steel, gray, dark and cold. It was such a day that I ventured to a familiar stream, a stream that has some spectacular brook trout. The last time I fished this stream it was on the wild side, it was struggling to keep its water within its banks. Ice chunks were almost every where which made for a very difficult outing. This day the stream was swollen from recent heavy rains. My thought was to drift a bead head nymph, one with some color and flash and try to entice a strike. A good hour and a half and all I was gifted was a bump.

I even used Pete's "TROUT1" method which is "when the water is high fish close to the banks" and....


that's how I came upon this jewel.


I have learned to accept days as such, slow and not much happening. It is days like this that I try something different. I went to a stretch of stream that I have not fished in years. Below a set of falls I found some water that in the past has been productive from time to time.


The first run below the falls I drifted the nymph and it took a strong hit. The fish was on and as it came close I saw it was a silver gray fall fish. Not a bad start.


I fished for some time without a single strike. Nearing the end of my day I cast the fly to this pocket. The line stopped and suddenly the stream erupted. The fish leaped and ran, then he leaped and ran again. The strength of the fish was not like I was used to from fish in this stream. I had all I could do to keep control and I hoped the fly held. Finally I gained the upper hand and glided the fish into calmer water.


The trout lay in the water with it's eyes looking wildly at me, the fly barely holding. The rainbow was in prefect shape, strong and well conditioned to fast water....a small stream steelhead?


As I lifted the fish from the water I could not believe it's power. I noticed a pronounced kype and thought it looked like the steelhead I had caught in the salmon river in NY. I placed him back into the stream, fly had already fell out. It did not take but a second and it was a memory.










34 comments:

  1. Alan
    Well done. Thanks for the acknowledgement. That brook looks to be running full, photos are great of the brookie and surrounding area. The bow is certainly healthy looking, must have given you a good run for your money with the small rod. Kudos to you!!

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    Replies
    1. TROUT1
      Thanks
      Pete you do have those little tricks that get it done.
      That bow tested that little rod and then some.

      Delete
  2. Wow, big for such a small stream. He'll be there for another time too.

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    1. Mark Kautz
      Thanks
      Mark one thing I know he will not be able to move upstream, the falls are to much of an obstacle. But moving down stream he can enjoy a robust life.

      Delete
  3. Alan
    Gorgeous trout, I assume you was using your 3 weight, quite a fight-----love those clean banks --thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill I was indeed using the 3wt, it got it done. The stream banks will remain like that until spring.

      Delete
  4. That bow has been living the dream.... nice catch and outing...

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    Replies
    1. Doug Korn, Fly Tyer
      Thanks
      Doug I'll bet he's been eating lots of little fall fish.

      Delete
  5. Absolutely lovely piece, that brightened a February day. Thank you. John

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    Replies
    1. The Two Terriers
      Thanks
      John, welcome and it's pleasure bringing some brightness on a mid winter day.

      Delete
  6. What a stunning fish from a stunning place.

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    Replies
    1. Bureboyblog
      Thanks
      It's a beautiful stream and a surprise fish for sure.

      Delete
  7. When trout in small streams reach that size its not because they're more successful at sipping mayflies and midges. Its a lot more likely they're dining on brookies. Ed Hewitt pointed out, long ago, when trout reach a certain age/size they morph into cannibals and are less interested in flies, at least dry flies. Regardless, nice catch Alan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John I'm certain that rainbow likes meat. Ed Hewett loved his brook trout. I read he had a special section of the Neversink that he tried to keep other trout from entering, a refuge for his beloved brookies.

      Delete
  8. I just love your small waters and well done on a beautiful rainbow. Surprise!

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    Replies
    1. Howard Levett
      Thanks
      Howard "cozy" little waters. You never know.

      Delete
  9. Clean and pretty as he is it's a shame that he most certainly didn't grow to that size in the stream. Menhaden in pellet form made that rainbow big, not insects and wild fish.

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    Replies
    1. RM Lytle
      Thanks
      Rowan perhaps the Purina Fish Chow got him to that size, but something other than midges helped him maintain that size, which was impressive.

      Delete
  10. Congratulations, Alan, on handling that fish on the lightweight tackle you use. The puzzle is, how did it get that far upstream?

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    Replies
    1. William Shuck
      Thanks
      Bill I suspect in times of high water these fish will seek out better areas of the stream. In the last few months we've had some high water.

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  11. Replies
    1. Michael Capurso
      Thanks
      Mike I appreciate your comment.

      Delete
  12. Is that the theme from .... _JAWS_ ?

    Massive fish for those waters. Nicely played!

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    Replies
    1. spike
      Thanks
      Yes sir it is playing. A fish like that does get your attention.

      Delete
  13. It's raro to finde a steelhead trout in that streamer,right? And very good size ,Alan ..

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    Replies
    1. Armando Milosevic
      Thanks
      Armando it is not really a steelhead, but a rainbow trout. I just the name steelhead to refer to it's size in a small stream and by the way it jumped and ran.

      Delete
  14. Man, that is a sizable rainbow for that small stream. Do you figure he made his way up from a bigger stream, Alan? He looks darn well fed and very steely looking for sure.

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    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      Sam I pretty certain I know where it came from. There is a larger stream that the state stocks once in the spring. From time to time a fish or two holds over and migrates to this small tributary. This fish managed to maintain his size...but how?

      Delete
  15. It just goes to show that you can never figure anything out 100%.
    It can still be surprising what a small stream will give up.
    Well done!
    Joe J.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous
      Thanks
      Joe the beauty of the small stream is what it can sustain, and what it will give up to the angler who is willing to seek.

      Delete
  16. Lovely fish Alan, I'm often amazed at where larger fish come from on small streams like that.

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    Replies
    1. George
      Thanks
      George, I pretty much know where he came from. Not sure how he's maintaining himself.

      Delete
  17. Sort of like winning the lottery....only in many ways better. Beautiful fish! It obviously worked its way up from somewhere. Doesn't always take a lot of water, just a prime lie and enough food.

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    Replies
    1. Ralph Long
      Thanks
      Ralph a win for sure, and no taxes.
      We kind of know where he came from, and it's interesting that he has maintained his physique.

      Delete