With high winds and thunderstorms in the weather report I decided to fish
for trout somewhere close to home that would be sheltered from the wind.
Fortunately, not more that 40 miles from my home, I have just the place to
go. And the best part, the fish are wild.
When I arrived at the stream I could tell the water level was up. However, the clarity looked good. When I started the two mile hike to the mouth of the stream the sun was out and there was no rain in site. Five minutes into the hike there was a down poor. By the time I reached the mouth of the stream the water was up and slightly murkier. Not really dirty, but not gin clear like normal.
The stream itself is mostly cut through solid rock. Just about every surface in the gorge is moss covered very slick, sandstone. In some places the gorge gets very narrow and requires climbing along the side to avoid deep turbulent slots of water in the center. There are also numerous log jams, some piled quite high, which must be climbed over. There is no way to walk around them. The gorge can be very narrow in areas with near vertical walls. This stream is probably the most hazardous place I fish. But it's also one of the most beautiful.
The trout within this gorge are among the most skittish fish I have ever pursued. I've landed casts that I thought were near perfect using a 2-weight with a long leader and have sent these trout swimming for cover. I normally fish only dry flies here. In most areas dries are clearly the way to go. They can be easily cast under extremely low branches and cause the least amount surface disruptions. However, there are a few nice, deep pools that I will go subsurface if nothing is coming up. Usually I'm rewarded.
Unfortunately for me dries were not the ticket on Saturday. There were plenty of bugs in the air but I saw only one fish rising. Despite having seen sulfurs, hendricksons, and BWO's the fish were not in the mood for surface dining. The higher water with stronger currents was probably providing an underwater buffet for the trout. Plus, the off colored water wasn't helping.
The green weenie came to the rescue and provided me with the first hook-up with ten minutes of fishing. The green weenie is one of my favorite sub-surface flies on small wild trout streams. It rarely lets me down.
By the time I reached the area of the stream near the trail head it was once again sunny and the water was clearing up. I only caught a few fish but that never seams to mater on this stream. It's an enjoyable day even when I get skunked.