About this blog

This blog is all about fly fishing for native trout. On it I cover trip reports, fishing tactics, conservation, the latest news about native trout species and much more. This site provides a companion to my web page nativetroutflyfishing.com.

Gary

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Belated creek post

Although this post should be a month old by now, I finally have found some time to get back to the blog. Per my usual fishing traditions for the end of the general Washington stream season I did a bit of searching for sea-run cutthroat fresh from the salt water in my home creek.
The creek

With the first hard rains of the fall drawing coho and chum salmon in to even the smallest coastal creeks, the cutthroat are never far behind. This seasonal migration of salmon and cutthroat provides some amazing Alaska style fishing close to home fishing. However it is surprising under appreciated and it is rare if ever that one would run into another angler... A fact that you won't find me complaining about.
A wild coho salmon (under the log)

This year although the creek was a bit lower than usual, it had some of the better coho returns I have seen in years and I literally had to tip toe around salmon redds. With a 6mm or 8mm egg imitation though the cutthroat proved rather willing.
A native cutthroat

Due to the small waters short leaders are the norm and as with typical sea-run cutthroat a slightly unnatural presentation tends to get results. So swinging or twitching an egg imitation often leads to better results than dead drifting. However as usual the end of the season comes too fast and as fishing is just getting into its stride the season is over and it is time to think of salmon and steelhead.
Another look at an egg eating cutthroat

Friday, November 11, 2011

A little eastern brook fishing

Although I have done a bit of travelling around the west coast I had until this last week never been east of the Rocky Mountain states, so when the chance arose to join my Dad and sister on a trip to the east coast at the end of October, I jumped on it. The trip would see us heading to several states and while it wasn't a fishing trip per-say, I did make sure that I would at least get a little time in on the water while there.

As fishing went I planned on checking out some smaller streams in Vermont where we would be staying for some native brook trout. So after flying into JFK in New York and driving across a few states we found ourselves in Northern Vermont on the edge of the Green Mountains. As this area was completely foreign to me I made one of my first stops the local fly shop. However it was a slightly depressing visit as, I don't think I have ever been in a shop were they were less excited about the fishing. The main reason was Hurricane Irene which had swept through the area over a month prior, but combined with the fall rains had still left the rivers high and swollen waters. Luckily the smaller waters sounded to be at least slightly fishable even if the staff didn't sound so interested in them, so I picked up a few flies and headed on my way.

The next morning I got up early and headed on my way to check out some of the local waters. The first stream that I fished was a beautiful freestone river, but was still so chalky from run-off that I didn't spend much time there before moving on to something smaller. Although the next stream that I picked had picked was more of a random choice than anything, with I stumbled on one of the more beautiful places on the trip.
Fall colors on the road to the creek

With the fall colors in full effect the road with was a tunnel brightly colored leaves and the short hike into the creek was a different experience from any in the rain socked Pacific Northwest. The stream was a still high, but definitely fishable so I rigged up my 1wt with a nymph and soft hackle dropper and started working my way upstream.
The stream

The fishing was definitely not lights out and after working my way upstream I had only caught one small brook trout that I failed to get a picture of and have missed a handful of others. However the experience was more important than the fishing and the stream had a unique character compared to those I am used too. The land also had an older more settled feel a about it, a fact made more apparent by the random rock walls that had been built a long the stream in days past.
One of the walls along the creek

After cover a mile or two of stream I started my way back downstream and while drifting a nymph through a pocket spotted a decent brookie inspecting my fly. Although the fish didn't take on the first cast, I made another allowing the soft hackle trailer to swing across the pool and hooked the fish. Which ended up being a beautiful brook trout of perhaps 8".
A native brook trout
Another look at the stream

With that fish I called it an end my day on the water and figured I might as well call it a successful and enjoyable outing. I didn't get another chance to hit the water on the the trip, but had an enjoyable week taking in the sights and history on the other side other country.