Trout Opener was today! Since most everything on the east side of the valley is going to be blown out, I decided to try a new stretch of creek I haven't fished before...While I didn't run into a whole lot of people fishing, I failed to avoid the hordes of briars and blackberry bushes effectively blockading the creek. I did manage to leave my wading sandals at home, so I had to dig around the back of my truck for a substitute. Lo and behold I find a pair of sketchers moccasins and some bright yellow converse look alikes...Sketchers it is! Of course, now the half-dozen blisters around my swollen ankles are making me rethink my earlier decision.
Let's talk about cold water. Now, I left my old pair of wading boots for dead on the last Steelhead trip I made out here in January of 2011. Who needs wading boots in Texas, right? I then proceeded to procrastinate on securing that pair of korkers I've been eyeballing, so I says, "okay, I'll just wet-wade the summer and get a new pair before the fall. I won't need waders!" Wwwwwwwwwwwrong!!!!!
This water was so cold, my feet are still tingling. No joke, and I have been out of the water for at least 4 hours. Numbing, bone-aching cold! Bottom of a snow melt filled lake cold! So cold, that....well, you get the idea. If it ain't 70 degrees or better, I ain't used to it. It's a good thing it numbed my feet and legs down, though because I'm sure it would have been a lot more painful crashing through that brush.
Anyway, I will most likely not willingly make a trip back to this particular section if I have other options. I did however, NOT get skunked on the opener, thanks to Marc's suggestion to keep fishing the water we were on. Picked up a little 10 incher under the bridge. I also lost a bruiser. A fairly gentle deep riffle gave way to a deep side pocket of still water behind a submerged tree. On about my third drift over the tree, my mend got away from me and my fly skated, RIGHT out of the way of a porpoising trout! Whew, thank GOD he didn't get my fly, that was too close for comfort! the bastard! So one more drift to the inside, one more a little closer....and he's not there. I was just dinking around with the dry flies, I hadn't seen anything rising, Marc and I did see some yellow sallys sputtering up. I figured one more drift and this spot is toast. I'm just gonna move upstream and *GOLP* HOLY*&%$ raise and set! She ripped across into the still water, realized how bad of an idea that was and came back to me. I knew she had a little size, but she was coming in across the riffle easy. One sight of my legs about 20 feet away, I see her roll (she's at least 18) and she is into "OH F&*% NO" mode. Before I could even react, she is bolting for a stump across the stream, and I'm running down and hauling her back. She had been caught before for sure. She successfully hung me on the stump! I waded over, mumbling over and over "please still be there", and sure enough, I reach down and free the line and downstream she goes, right into the trees. So now, I'm bulldogging these trees in waist deep water, trying desperately to knock my fly line and leader out of the submeged branches, and I feel the *tick* of my tippet breaking. Lost a good fly, and a Great fish. No hard feelings sweetheart, I tried to get that hook out of your lip.
On second thought, I might head back that way sometime in the future. That was a damn fine Stimulator, and I kinda want my fly back.
Here's the original California Trip. Full of entertainment. I apologize for the filler vids, but I need to get some better editing software.