It was a satisfyingly slow day.
With my new “minimalist” approach, I brought to the Swift just one small box of flies.
I spent a lot of time visiting parts of the river I’ve not yet fished before. I took my time to look for a trout I could target. I looked and looked and finally saw some fish. They were scattered and few. The rainbows I did see seemed lethargic. Makes sense since these are the savvy survivors. And, the water was 39 °F. No bugs.
Then, I saw a fish that I thought I could approach without spooking it. I crept up and cast a big Prince Nymph, wondering if I could get the fish to take. I was determined not to switch to my go-to small flies and just keep at it. I wasn’t using an indicator. As Ed Engle writes in Fishing Small Flies, “The best indicator? The trout.”
I cast over and over. Then, the fish slightly turned its head. I lifted the rod and felt weight.
The trout immediately bolted for a log, taking my line under it. I thought I was doomed. Fortunately, I was able to coax the trout back under the log, and the fight then resumed.
It was a 13″ brown (see above). I was pretty pumped. I landed two brookies later in the day.
I at the end ran into an angler who has fished the Swift a few times and has yet to catch. He was pretty down. So, I gave him a bunch of flies and gave some suggestions.
It was a slow day, but very satisfying.
8 thoughts on “A Satisfyingly Slow Day”
Did you fish the pipe area? Glad to hear you caught a few fish. I am hoping to sneak off and fish soon also. Did see many other anglers?
I fished that area and up above the gauge to the old dam.
Others were there, but I fished on a cold day with some snow falling. Wasn't too jammed. The nicer the weather, the bigger the crowds from what Dan Trela tells me.
I agree about the weather – crowd correlation at the Swift. I was there yesterday and it was packed above and below route 9! I did catch 3 good size rainbows well downstream of the Pipe but sorry to see that the catch & keep crowd has in fact cleaned out a lot of fish. However there are still fish especially the little Brookies. My personal highlight for the day was catching an 6" Brookie on a dry fly at the bottom end of the tree pool. The fish were actively rising to teeny emergers so I think it was a mistake but I'll take it.
3 rainbows in late Jan.? That's impressive!
Sounds similar to the bow I caught there last Tuesday. Had to hit him on the nose and it was just a head turn then tight line. I want to get back there and do more exploring both above and a lot further down past the pipe.
Tightline nymphing is fun! I'm trying to do it now without any indicator and by watching the fish and where my leader meets the water.