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Scudly

One Fish Is All I Ask

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One big one. That is all I could hope for, really. I set my alarm clock for 3:30 however I awoke with anticipation by 3:00 and could not fall asleep. Turn the coffee machine on. Brewed strong for the early rise. Out of the house and at my spot by 4:30. I had a 20-minute hike through the woods with my flashlight headset to my pool.

My approach to the pool was slow and silent. I crawled like a big cat underneath the tall grass. As I got within 100 feet of the pool I turned off my flashlight headset. Getting down the tall bank in complete darkness was no easy task. I basically slid down on slippery mud and seven feet tall grass on my butt. My eyes still adjusting to the darkness I wait and watch. At 5:15 the bats came out in full force, apparently for one last meal of bugs before they go to sleep. This was the first early morning bat sighting for me this season. These little fellas were hungry, sweeping back and forth past me above the pool chomping down on the rising bugs of a new day.

Finally enough light out to actually see my hole, I began fishing. I used Panther Martin spinners and countdown #5 Rapalas systematically pounding this corner pool. First I would cast up to the downed tree on the right side. Next cast was to the right and above the beginning of the down tree. Next was the conjoined pool, the 90-degree corner pool with lots of circular current. I would cast all the way up from right to left, working my way upstream to the beginning of the pool.

It was tough fishing. For a while I did not have any bites. I would take numerous ten-minute breaks, having a seat on the soft cold mud. A time for relaxation, rest, and prayer. A time to reflect on life and be thankful for what I have. I don’t go to church often enough, so I consider this my time to communicate to God. I cannot think of a more beautiful place to communicate with God than a beautiful trout stream. I continued this process for a while.

It was 7:30 now. The sun was crawling higher in the sky and reaching the top of the tree line of the valley. I was honestly getting ready to pack up and call it a day. On this stretch of water, there are only two deep holes that have held big trout for me in the past. I did not wade in the stream at all nor did I have a thermometer to take a temperature, however wondered if the water was too warm and trout migrated to spring seeps in search of cooler water during the heat of the summer. I had private conversations with a few trout nuts before my trip. I asked the question on migration. One gentleman who has a lifetime of experience and great respect for told me he has heard both stories however his experience is that big trout are territorial. Music to my ears. This was the reason I continued to focus on the number one hole on this stretch of water.

One last cast of the day. For my last cast I used a Panther Martin #6 silver spinner. The cast was to the protected corner of the downed tree, right at the root wad. Deep. I counted to five as I let the spinner fall the bottom. Next I did a slow jerk retrieve. On my second jerk, my rod bent over like I’ve never seen before and my drag began to sing. I put some backbone into it and tugged the monster towards me, away from the downed tree. Gaining a few feet, I was worried that I was putting too much pressure on the fish and the lure would pop out of her mouth. I eased up a bit, and next the fish raced upstream peeling off even more line, jumping out of the water. I saw the fish. Big splash landing. My heart began to race. I had to land her. The fish made a few more circles around the pool but I maintained my pressure and hoped for the best. The drag was set just right and I’m so glad I brought my heavy IM6 blank medium-heavy action pole to I could apply steady pressure to minimize the trout’s headshakes. My drag was set just right too as the fish peeled off line four times before I beached her on the muddy bank.

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Thanks for your kind words. FYI- This fish was released. Too big and beautiful for the frying pan. Plus I want to catch her again when she is even bigger!

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Nice fish! Did you get a measurement?

I always carry one of those small round tape measures in my fly vest. It keeps me honest...even after the release!

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Yeah she was just shy of 20." Wonder if you guys use the fresco filter in PhotoBucket? One of my favorites.

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Thanks for your interest Len. I did not submit this story, however maybe I should. The one getting published is titled "The River Pig" in October. I'm really excited!

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roughfish29 sorry you did not catch any fish but that is to be expected. Out of three trips, I'd say only one of the trips lands a beauty. Once you ID a big hole and actually spot a giant or two, take note and come back at low light. My opinion is the trout are territorial and pretty much stay in the same spot that they claim. Some say during warm months trout migrate to spring seeps. I'm not so sure. Maybe in warmer water systems like the Nam or the White.

So what time did you go out today? What did you use? Did you find any deep holes or undercut banks, downed trees etc? Tough hiking where you were at today? This time of year trail blazing is not an easy task.

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i was out relatively early (i don't think it was early enough), i used a mepps aglia, i found quite a few REALLY deep holes and undercut banks with a few fallen trees, and i had to walk through a ton of thistles and deal with really bad mosquitos so it was pretty tough

i was fishing around highway 3, i think one of these days i'll go out after dark and see what i can catch...northern, sucker, carp, trout.....i'm not picky

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Try chub tails even one hour past dark. Sunset is a sad 7:12 right now but back in July sunset was 8:30 and I stayed until 9:30 which seemed like complete darkness, yet it yielded me a 24" brown I estimate to be ~ 7lbs.

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I'm not familiar with Agaila spinners. My recommendation is a #6 or #9 all silver Panther Martin Deluxe. All time favorite trout lure.

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Quote:
is a chub tail a type of lure or do you literally mean the tail of a chub?

Tail of a chub. I start with pieces of a worm with a #8 hook and catch some chub minnows. Usually 3-5" long. Chops their heads. Then switch over to a #2 hook or circle hook. Hook chubtail right below dorsal fin. Just let them run for five seconds and set the hook.

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