First fish of 2013, Brown Trout

CWF2013JAN1browntroutIt 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!

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