It would have been fun to chase big fish in the big rivers, but reports of ice shelves and slush diverted me to the small water. I tried to be enthusiastic for what the day might hold but admittedly I had low expectations. I was fishing a stretch that I hadn’t fished in years. I decided I would float a black hair jig tipped with two waxworms, an old standby that gives me confidence when I’m not sure what to use. As I meandered from pool to pool, I came across one that just looked too good not to hold fish. I decided I would invest a good portion of the morning camping it, and after 30 minutes I finally saw my float doing a bit of a dance. Over excitement can be an angler’s demise, and I lost the fish as it was just tapping at the offering. For the next hour, I worked the same pool hoping for another opportunity. I was just about to move on when my float turned sideways and then disappeared into the stream. I lifted the rod and felt a small spirited fish on the other end.
As I brought the fiesty fish to the net, I was amazed to see it was a Brown Trout. A very nice surprise for my first fish of 2013. After a few photos, the fish was returned to the water. It was just a single fish, maybe all of 12″ long, but I was thrilled. One part of me just wanted to leave after catching the gem, another part of me begged “more, more!”. The latter won.
I left that pool, convincing myself I had conquered the best prize in it. A few minutes later I was working the tailout of a long riffle when my float bounced a few times. I wasn’t used to the new drift and wondered if the jig was just bouncing on some rocks. This happened on several drifts and I finally told myself that I was setting the hook the next time it ‘hangs up’. The next time the float made the slightest deviation, I lifted the rod and felt a very similar sized fish. As I netted the fish, I saw the more expected Rainbow Trout. It was a rather homely trout that screamed of hatchery, but a second trout nonetheless and an excellent way to bring in the new year!