Monday, May 17, 2010


The pull off is situated along a tight bend and my truck protrudes out just enough that I am worried about losing a side view mirror. I lock the doors and hesitantly step into the forest. I trudge through some overgrowth and out onto a trail of deep grass leftover from a water pipeline. After a few hundred yards I reach the private property line and step into a little slice of heaven.

Little Slice of Heaven.

On the Menu.

Size 12.

The approach is from downstream and I make my way to the far bank to lurk in the shadows. The long glide ahead is shallow and branches from a pine tree hover precariously above the water, inviting a stray cast from a short seven foot rod. With one forward cast, I spook three trout in the glide that otherwise would have remained invisible to my keen eye. The water is skinny and the trout wary. They have home field advantage and I am the big predator resembling Godzilla wrecking havoc in Tokyo. They see me from a mile away and yet I still play the game. I work my way to more productive water, where I have the advantage. Pocket water.

Despite my increased odds, I still maintain my distance. Arching a back cast between thorns and branches I carefully lay one out upstream into a fast shallow run. The dry dropper combo lands and is swiftly pulled downstream before immediately lurching back upstream. I gentle lift of the rod reveals six inches of brute force on the other end. A small wild brown that fights harder than any foot long stocker, ever. I bend over onto the mossy slate and carefully cradle a pure wild trout before sending him back into his four foot wide home.

As I make my way farther upstream, I carefully play my pieces just right. Small stream heaven isn't kind to mistakes, miscasts, or missteps. Every cast I make has to count and it must be pinpoint. Each small piece of water is broken down into feeding and holding lanes. Where will the largest trout be? Do I go for the tail out? The small rapid feeding the hole? The piece of slack water on the right? How about the small overhang along that small boulder up yonder? Guess right and you can tie into a surprisingly large fish for such small water. Guess wrong, and you tie into another glorious six inches while simultaneously scaring and putting down every other fish in the immediate vicinity.

I guess wrong on many occasions but I am not one to complain. Alone in the small glen, I am at peace with the environment and the amusement offered by mother nature. I enjoy the smell of wet foliage and the feel of soft moss on my knees. I love small streams. The challenging conditions and vibrant colors more than make up for the lack of any sizable trout and I have no one to bother me. As the last trout slides out of my grasp, he blends into the water and the stream bottom like a mirage. I hike out of the small glen and find the truck. The mirror is in one piece.


Bigerrfish said...

those fish look very pure!!! that red adapost fin is sick!!

I've been reading you blog for a while and just read the little caption at the top that says the pupose for you blog.... thats why I read........

JMP said...

that red fin reminds me of my avatar...nice fish...I love wild fish...

Mark said...

ahh the addiction, i am glad our blog could be of service

you can't beat wild browns.