Saturday, March 26, 2011

Last Day of the Winter Season

I was able to get out on Sunday, on the day trout season closed before the season opener on April 9th.  The weather was a bit more seasonable with the high just hitting 50 degrees.  The river was in great shape with normal spring time flows and good clarity.  It was all rainbows in the morning with browns becoming more active by mid day.

As usual for this time of year nymphing was the way to go, but the fish were more active, willing to move a bit more for the fly.  As on my previous trip the "spanker" was the bomb, with most of the fish taking this pattern.  This time I fished it on the top dropper so they were taking it higher in the water column. 

My pheasant tail anchor pattern with its giant over sized tungsten bead continues to rack up the numbers.  Why this fly is so effective is a bit of a mystery to me, as it produces well under all conditions.  I originally tied it to only act as weight to bring other flies into the zone, thinking the over sized bead would not be attractive to the fish. Either the fish don't notice the bead at all or they are actually attracted to it, the jury is still out on that one.

Another pattern that has been bringing up some nice browns has been a pink tungsten beaded San Juan Worm.  Rainbow trout don't seem to have any interest in this pattern but the biggest fish of the day (always brown trout) have been taking it. 

This chunky brown my buddy Rick caught is an example of the fish showing a preference for the "pinky".  This fly is tied a little differently than a traditional San Juan Worm.  In addition to the bead that is threaded onto the chenille before being mounted on the hook it has a thorax of shrimp pink vinyl d-rib.  I don't know if adds effectiveness to the works so I'm not changing it.

The vast majority of the fish caught where rainbows and I did see some sporadic takes on top as fish were feeding on the abundant stone flies and midges that were flying about.  I think the reason the Lil' Spanker was working so well on the top dropper is that fish were taking it as a sunken adult stone fly.  Most of these stone flies were returning to the water to lay eggs so I imagine a number of them were ending up in the drink.

Nymph fishing was so effective I never bothered going on top.  In fact I ended up with two back to back doubles which has never happened before.  Four fish on two casts!

By the end of the day arms were tired, flies were chewed to shreds and there were loads of fish caught with a few real good ones in the mix.  I hope the season starts as good as it ended!

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