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Learn to love 12 inch fish.

Posted on June 18 2020

As most regular readers know, it is unlikely you will find me in any of the "A" spots where drift boaters line up both to launch and to take out.  Crowds on the river are not my thing.

That said - This morning I took it on the chin fishing not one but two places on the freestones.  The water temps were ok (this morning) and I knew there would be no boats and few if any waders.  Was right on all of the above, however, there were also no spinner falls and very few rising fish. Did well on the fall fish but once again lost more trout than I should have.  These were not hot rainbows streaking across the river emitting flames from their aft aperture, no, they were a mix of 12 inch two year olds and a couple of hold over hatchery fish.  Perhaps I'm rushing them, perhaps it's just one of those streaks fishermen go through but  I've to been dropped from fifth to eighth in the batting order for the second game of tonight's twin bill.

Drove up to Deposit at about 5:30 (didn't need a repeat of last night's "sulfur hatch" on the UE), and found the place deserted. Yes, four "anglers ??? " (I use the term loosely) came down behind me in pontoon boats rowing 2, 3 and sometimes 4 abreast and two drift boats bumped their way down the river but the same place had 13 drift boats and other assorted watercraft plus wade fishermen a few short weeks ago.  Where is everybody? Don't know, don't care. Solitude is my thing.

The fishing - 5:30 is not the time to expect hatches, I know this but it's when I got to the stream.  Maybe the sulfurs were so thick at 1:00 you could have walked across the river on their backs but when I got there it was much like the UE sulfurs last night, an occasional riser but not enough to get the fish up and feeding.  Was tempted to leave but the solitude thing kept me there.  Fish would rise, then not rise again for several minutes. Most ignored my flies, some looked but didn't take. Then I encountered an old friend, a 20 incher that never in his life has seen a fly he didn't eat. He tried to eat mine but I pulled it right out of his mouth before he had a chance to close it. Didn't matter five minutes later he was up and feeding, this time I waited and was fast to a big trout that never took  20 feet of line, didn't fight as well as a sock full of water and held perfectly still while I extracted the hook from his mouth. 

The rest of the evening went well with a good number of two year olds feeding in the hour before dark. A surprising number of which ate the old hdy (ask Dave at the Troutfitter)  with relish. All I know is I'm back in the number five spot tomorrow. 


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