Small Stream Goodness

Most mornings I work out at the gym in my office complex. It’s nice, well equipped and convenient, and gets me close to work way before the traffic gets heavy. I’m not training for the Olympics or the next Mr. Universe title, but in some way I feel that I’m burning off the doughnuts and snacks I’ve eaten that are scattered throughout our office. Between new employee breakfasts, celebration lunches and employee appreciation days, we have an almost endless supply of grazing opportunities. I digress.

Two weeks ago I was out running on the sidewalk next to my office when I heard the sound of running water. I crossed the street and through the woods I could see a small stream down in a ravine. Couldn’t gauge the size, but it looked fishy.

With a little help from Google Maps, I found a road that paralleled the stream. Maybe a mile in length at most, but it provided access.

My days have become pretty routine: A solid block of meetings from 8-5, work at my desk until 7, and then home for dinner and a nightcap of emails. Today had been stacked with meetings, so I decided to take some time to relax and explore this new found stream.

After work I drove around the corner to the access road and found a convenient place to park.  I put on waders, a chest pack and rigged up my 7′ 3 wt. No net or wading stick needed.

As I approached the stream I could tell that it was about 20 feet across and was not going to be more than knee deep in most places. The air was around 60 degrees, humid and a line of thunderstorms had just passed through the area. I tied on a sulphur parachute hoping for some dry fly action.

The water turned out to be a collection of pools and small riffles, most of it under low hanging canopies made of trees and vines. Perfect water for testing your small stream roll casting and wild fish skills. I tried 3 or 4 areas before finding a pool with fish in it. I was getting strikes with no hookups, and could tell that most were coming from juvenile trout. I cast a few more times and pick up this wild brown.

far mill river brown trout He’s probably 7″ – 8″ at most, but fought well in skinny water and was a deep brown color with golden belly. Later I hooked a 10″-12″ brown that broke off within 3 feet of the shore. I hope he’ll be there next time.

My next few casts picked up a couple of sunfish.  Both of these were taken on small spinners.far mill river sunfishfar mill river sunfish

What they lacked in size they made up for in color.

Over the course of the evening I changed flies a few times, but found that the small cream colored dry flies performed the best.

I started to see my breath as the sun faded from over the trees. The mosquitoes became more pervasive, so I packed up the rod and headed back to the car.  It’s amazing how a couple of hours on the water and small fish can relax and reinvigorate you. Enjoy!

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