Monday, June 14, 2010

Chasing Wild Trout

The definition of 'small stream' varies widely from fisherman to fisherman, but I think that this little one would qualify on anyone's list.  This is 1wt water...

Light lines, light tippet, creative casting, and slow, stealthy approaches are the name of the game here.  I spooked more fish than I caught, but it was nice to get back to truly wild trout.  It's a very different kind of fishing, compared to the typical trout fishing experience here in PA.  You don't need a perfect cast or drift, you don't need to flawlessly match the hatch, and the fish are generally voracious little creatures, very willing to attack any vaguely buggy-looking imitation you throw their way.  The challenge comes in the form of the crowded surroundings, almost never open enough for a proper cast...and the spooky, wary nature of the fish that sends them for cover if they spot you.

A wise angler is always keeping in mind where his shadow is being cast, making sure that it is away from the water he intends to fish.  Also, its a good idea to walk slowly and softly, as even the vibrations in the ground caused by careless walking might spook a fish.

Crouching or kneeling is often a good idea as well, for two purposes.  First, you will cast less of a shadow, and stay out of a fish's view better from a lower position.  Second, it increases your casting room ever so slightly, which, in this type of situation, can be the difference between a tangle in a tree that will spook every trout in sight and a well-placed cast that lands you a fish.

I ended up with three fish yesterday afternoon, exploring a new stream I'd never visited before.  I found a decent access point, and for the most part stuck pretty close to that area the whole time.  Next time I visit, I'll probably venture farther downstream, as it looked like the stream got a bit wider down there.


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