Early-Season Scouting

I fished a new stream earlier this week. Although it ran clear, the water was still cold from snow melt.

Since I never before had fished the stream, I had nothing to go by. I didn’t know how many fish were there  or where their usual lies were. I searched all the typical types of holding water (riffles, runs, plunge pools) to try to find wintering areas. Nothing.

Eventually, I spotted several feeding brookies in a stretch of slower water. Carefully, I snuck up to a good casting position. It was very technical fishing, and I had to plan every movement and cast before executing it.

Usually, I sat on my knees for a good five minutes studying each individual fish, the current, and surroundings before casting. I went three-for-five.  There wasn’t too much of a secret to my technique.

I fished a naked Rainbow Warrior (without a weight or indicator) by casting upstream of the fish and letting it dead drift. I registered strikes by watching the fish for signs. If I saw the white of its mouth or watched it shift near my nymph, I set the hook. Often times, I saw the fish strike before the line even paused.

Eventually, as the evening wore on, my casting got a little sloppier, and, I caught more snags than fish. I decided to call it an evening, satisfied with the result.

With spring just around the corner, I look forward to more days on the water and some decent dry-fly action. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to catch fish like these in places like this only 15 minutes from my house.

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4 thoughts on “Early-Season Scouting

  1. Ashu, that’s not just scouting that’s fishing 😉 Sight casting to wild and skittish brookies in a tight spot stream is top notch fun in my book!

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