As the thermometer climbed above 90 degrees, it became evident that this was not going to be a good day to chase trout – at least not on the river near me.
But all was not lost. It was still a good day to wet wade and practice casting using a 6′ 3 wt and some dry flies. I threw on my old wading boots, shirt, shorts and chestpack and headed down to a new section of river. Looking downriver I saw a nice stretch of small pools, riffles and pocket water, ranging in depth from a few inches to waist deep. The water was warm enough to be comfortable on my bare legs, confirming my earlier assumption.
The river was clear and less than knee deep, leading me to believe that it was going to be an easy wading session. But it turned out to be unusually rocky, making it feel more like a climbing challenge than streamside wading. Oh well, I needed the exercise anyway.
Started out using a Hornberg, but things really picked up when I switched to a size 16 caddis dry. Caught a number of sunfish. Many were surprisingly large given the skinny water where I found them. They were eager to take the caddis, and destroyed it in the process. At one point all I had left was the brown caddis body. It looked like a large brown midge, but still caught fish. Also tied on a caddis with a green body, but it didn’t seem to make a difference – they just wanted bushy flies. Note to self: next time bring some poppers.
Landed a couple of small and feisty bass on the caddis. Here’s the larger of the two, probably around 10″. This guy was really dark and I knew instantly from the way that he fought that he was not a sunfish. Gave the 3 wt a nice bend.
Apparently there are some big fish in there, based on this 3″ lure that I pulled from a tree. I’ll be back for them soon.
The most surprising thing today was how many fish were holding in small shallow pools like this one, as opposed to some of the relatively deeper water. This run was around a foot in depth and 8-10′ in length, but held many fish due to the shade, cover and moving water. There were many areas like this one.
Because this was a relatively narrow stretch of the river, it gave me some great opportunities to fine tune my roll cast and to practice mending in tight areas on short runs. Next time you think it is too hot to fish, leave the waders in the car and try some small stream action. Enjoy!