I don’t think you ever can truly figure out trout. But, that’s a good thing.
Last Sunday, I found a decent morning bug hatch, and fish rose willingly. The late-afternoon hatch was decent, but rises were few. This was the opposite of last time, when a dead morning later transformed into an epic, afternoon Sulphur hatch (see post here).
I was first to a stretch of the river and was working rising fish. I landed quite a few on Midge emergers and felt fortunate to have some fish under my belt. A size 22 CDC Midge Emerger in olive provoked an aggressive grab from a very large rainbow that pulled line four times. It surged out of the net before I could snap a pic, unfortunately.
I saw some beautiful browns. Nearly all didn’t seem to be stocked fish, but it’s tough to know for sure sometimes.
A few hours later, the river was packed with anglers. I was fishing to rises downstream of me. I could see a whole wave of rises further down and thought I could eventually make my way there.
An angler on the bank saw me, rushed below me, and waded in right below where the trout were rising. He made eye contact but didn’t wave or say anything. I grit my teeth and elected to stay quiet. I didn’t want him to ruin my day. The fish largely stayed down. This is an angler who fishes a great deal and does very well.
Honestly, I felt unjustly busted but tried not to feel resentful.
So, all this to say: It was a good reminder to me to exercise good etiquette always. It sucks to get up at 2:30 am, drive a few hours, find fish rising, only to have someone cut me off from a swarm of rises, and put down the fish closest to me. As Jamie Carr noted in his prior post, how we treat others and how others treat us while fishing has a long echo.
The afternoon was slow. I again ran into Charlie, the guide who works the Delaware’s West Branch. He’s a great angler and knows a ton.
I was hoping for another strong Sulphur hatch. There was good bug activity, but not many rises. Mole Flies, for the first time, didn’t provoke any takes. I did see a good fish rising in shallow water and threw an experimental Sulphur spinner. It was a clean grab and a clean hook set, and I was off to the races. Unfortunately, the 7x snapped on some structure. Busted again! I’ll be back for it, though.
I continue to be shocked at how many big fish slide into very skinny water to feed!
All rises stopped at about 5 pm, as a thunderstorm brewed and the humidity surged. I think the insects knew what was coming. Once the bug activity stopped, the fish emptied the shallow water, and I reeled up.
So, I “only” fished 12 hours and made back home for family dinner. I drove through torrential rain on the way back. A free car wash!
Hope everyone is getting by. Just learned that a friend’s brother-in-law passed away from Covid-19. He felt fine one day but had a temperature. A week later, he died. My in-laws got the virus and fortunately survived. But, know that the virus comes in quick and hot.
Wear a mask and wash your hands, please? I cannot believe it is July already….