Saturday, December 10, 2011
The unfamiliar water flowed between my legs as I stared blankly into my fly box. My eyes perused nymphs, eggs, and a few tantalizing streamers. What did the fish want? Would this be any different than the other waters I was more accustomed to? I ended up tying on a streamer that I swung through several riffles. A hundred yards downstream, I misjudged the amount of line I had out during my circle spey, and the sculpin was last seen dangling from a branch on the opposite bank. This forced me to re-enter my fly box where the same questions repeated in my head.
After a few minutes, I changed my entire rig. Back to an indicator and an egg pattern. Why change what always works? I made my way to a riffle pool combo that ran into a bank at the base of a tree that was partially fallen into the hole. There was a large undercut about ten yards long that was protected by the tree and all its branches laying over the water. It was a big risk/reward situation. I knew deep down that there was probably a few trout hiding out in there. I just had to get it in front of their faces. I took my time gradually getting closer and closer to the dangerous snag. After every few casts, I adjusted the length of my drift, along and under the bank, and tinkered with the depth of my rig. I anticipated the unknown.
I roll casted several yards upstream of the bank, before re-roll casting my line above my indicator. My flies sunk twice as fast and my indicator stood tall, revealing a dead drift. My flies entered the undercut as my indicator grazed the grass and root wad. The rig went under the overhang, and I knew this was it. A few yards later, the float plunged under the surface. To get a hookset, I had to set hard, low, and downstream under the overhang. It worked. Head thrashes revealed a nice brown at the end of my line, and she made her way into the undercut. I kept my rod tip low (in the water), and got her out of there. A few moments later, 25 inches of brown trout laid in the bottom of the net, for some admiration.