Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Steelies, Bows & Browns

After an unsuccesful week of deer hunting in Ohio, I headed up to New York for a mix of whitetail and steelhead. A friend of mine from North Carolina was up in NY chasing some steel and asked me to join him, so I headed to the creek on Saturday morning. The wind was gusting up to 30 mph, but down in the low area of the creek it was fairly pleasant. The water has been low on the Great Lake tributaries and this creek was one of the few that got some rain and had a decent number of fish. We had a lot of hookups and between the three of us we landed 10-12 chunky steelies. I brought 3 to hand with many LDRs on the day. All in all it was a good day.
On Sunday, the winds were up howling again, so I decided to hit one of my old haunts that I grew up fishing on for inland trout. I decided that I needed to knock the rust off of my comp fishing, so I rigged up the 10.5ft 3wt to give it a go. That day's recipe called for a size 8 Walt's Worm for an anchor and a size 14 hot spot Frenchie for the top offering. On the third cast, a had fiesty wild rainbow smash my anchor fly. The next cast called up another rainbow. The rust was knocked clear off the rod and my confidence was high, only to be smashed back down to reality as I spent the next 45 minutes fishing with only 2 more bows to show, but I did have a couple of LDRs.

Feeling a little low, I hopped in the truck and headed downstream a few miles to some honey holes that has been known to hold some spawning browns. I only had an hour to fish as I had an engagement to attend, so the pressure was on (kind of like fishing a comp). I worked a bunch of holes with feverish speed and missed a couple of nice fish. I got to the top hole and yanked out two nice size wild bows for the effort. I decided to call it a day and headed back for the truck. I stopped at the deep hole down by the truck and started making a few "last casts", knowing full well that I have never caught a fish out of this hole. This hole is about 10 feet deep and I was all the way at the bottom just churning my flies when the line got tighter than it should be. Knowing this is either the mother of all snags or a beast, I laid into the rod throwing caution and my 6x tippet to the wind. What happened on the other end of my line was something that reminded me of a Northern Pike head thrash. From the depths of the abyss, I could see a massive head just shaking wildly. The fought upstream and down, all the while staying at the bottom of the hole. I tried twice to take me into the log jam, but I leaned back on the rod and with the help of 10.5 feet, I was able to steer him back. After a ten minute battle and many choice words with myself for leaving the net in the truck, I beached the beast from the depths. The was truly a trophy wild brown that will rank up there as my best brown trout I have ever caught. It was not the biggest nor was it a Great Lake run fish, but it was a wild fish that I caught on my home water. You have to love those "last casts".
Story and photos by Foothills TU Newsletter Editor Bob Lux

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