A friend and I met up to fish the Swift River this afternoon, we didn't end up staying there too long though. The river was high, and there was not a fish to be seen, so we let the threat of thunderstorms chase us off.
We made it back from the river around 5pm, and I decided to fish the stream down below my friend's house to try out some new flies and maybe perfect my technique with the sakasa kebari.
To set the stage I have to describe the location: it's a beautiful brook flowing through a steep valley veiled in hemlocks and white pine, steep cliffs and rock outcroppings shape much of the brook's course. It is home to wild brown and brook trout which inhabit a few deep pools in surprising numbers. I've been fishing this stream for about a year on a regular basis, so I know a few of it's pools quite well; even on the worst day I can usually find a fish or two.
I negotiated the steep slopes down to the brook, got myself set up and approached the first pool I would fish that evening. I tied on a Miller's River bi-visible that a fellow fly-fisher had given me, now, this is supposed to be a great fly for brook trout, but I'd not had the occasion to fish it yet:
I quietly approached the tail of the pool and cast to a midstream boulder that usually holds a nice size brookie; and ... nada. By the time I'd worked my way to the head of the pool I'd not had so much as a strike. I scratched my head and moved on to the next pool. Again, I made a cautious approach, but only garnered a lone strike by a small parr who took the fly under for a brief moment. A few more casts with no interest and I felt it was time to switch gears [sorry Casey, I'm sure the fish meant no dis-respect to your tying skills ;)].
For the last few weeks I've been trying to fish the Sakasa Kebari flies more often in order to learn, hopefully catch some fish, and get a better feel for traditional tenkara. It's been a mostly fish-less few weeks as I've gotten the hang of manipulating these wet-flies. When I tied on my new kebari I wasn't expecting to catch anything due to a) the low flows and b) my lack of experience with wet flies, especially these ones. Well, I tossed it out there, let the fly sink for a second, began gently pulsing the line and fly, and lo and behold a nice sized brown smacked the fly right as it reached the surface on an upward pulsing retrieve.
|The pool that yielded the first brown trout of the evening|
The next 30 minutes were probably some of the best trout fishing I've ever had. After that first brown I proceeded to the next pool and caught 3 more trout, had numerous hits, and had a fish or two wriggle off. I was in heaven, absolute wild trout nirvana. The sense of success with a new method and self-tied flies made it just that much sweeter.
|This deep pool usually holds a good number of brook trout, and a good sized brown, or two.|
|The magic fly for the day...|