Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stocker Surprise

It is the second outing of the year on my local stream and it is absolutely filled with stocked fish from the fall, winter, and recent spring stockings. Every angler in the immediate vicinity is taking advantage of the only open trout water in the region, thanks to Pennsylvania special regulations. It has been this way for awhile and the banks of the stream are littered with footprints and signs of bait. I have been putting off joining the masses for awhile, until I just had to join the herd.

Another after school sojourn found me sitting on the bank of the stream with other anglers flanking me on either side, and closing fast. For the first half hour, skittish trout in super clear water ignored most of the flies I threw at them. They probably had sore lips and had been fished over all day long. A heavy fluorocarbon leader left over from a carping session was dragging the tip of my fly line underwater and I couldn't take it anymore. Packing light, I went back to the truck to tie another leader. I decided to walk far in the other direction for some solitude.

I found some fish in some spots that most people pass over. They were eager as long as it was on 6-7x. The fish were of the cooker cutter variety. Twelve to fourteen inch rainbows exhibiting the signs of most stockers. Feisty guys on a two weight rod and light tippet.

Towards the end of the day, I saw the anomaly in the whole equation. The big guy, typical of most highly stocked waters. I found him where they usually are, tucked away in a feeding position that was entirely his territory. Actively feeding, he flashed his fat white stomach making him stand out in the low light conditions. He was sandwiched in a pocket of deep water between a large boulder and faster shallow water. The flies had to travel through that seam and make it deep enough, fast enough, to make him eat. He did.

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