I’ve been on a brookie kick lately. Not really by choice, but if I had a choice I’m sure I would still go for brookies. It’s pretty surprising that considering the county I live in, brook trout are the closest available wild trout to fish for, a few streams being just a few miles down the road. This will probably be pretty long, so I’ll forgive you if you don’t read it all.
Monday I found myself at the stream I first started out fishing for native brookies at. It’s probably the biggest or second biggest all brookie stream in the county, and she can be tough at times, especially in the summer. This day, however, wasn’t one of those days, and I happened to hit it on a very good day.
I arrived at the stream, with a #10 woolly bugger tied to my tippet. Today was a day I would go for a big brookie. The streams in this area seem to have bigger brookies than different areas of the state. While in most of our states brook trout streams a 7-8″ fish is considered a very nice fish, that is just around average for these streams. It has huge rock slabs and undercuts, perfect for big fish.
I started upstream, quickly switching to a dry. The water was too low. I would wait until I got to the deep pools to tie on a big WB. I quickly landed a decent sized brookie out of a riffle, on a stimulator. Good start. I continued upstream, missing another dish and catching a 8″. I switched to a woolly bugger. I had reached the first rock slab pool of what I call “the big three”. I dropped my fly at the head of the pool. Nothing. Three casts later, I set the hook and a nice fish, which appeared to be in the 9-10″ range, nailed the fly but the hook didn’t stay with him. Move up to the second pool, nothing. Move up to the big plunge pool. I drop it in the middle of the pool, and BAM, rod doubles. The fish was gone. I didn’t have a quick enough reaction to hook him, but more on that fish later.
I got to a long, slow pool that used to be covered with trees and brush. First cast, in the trees. A few choice words later and I was stripping my WB in when a nice 9″ brookie hit it. Nice fish, but I know there’s a bigger one in that pool! I switched between the bugger and stimmy, hooking and rolling a few more. I got all the way upstream, and retied on my WB for the big plunge pool downstream. I headed straight to it from upstream. I dropped my fly right to where I did before. Bump. Bump. I set the hook. Quite some time in I hadn’t even seen the fish. Gotta be a huge brookie right? Nope, a 8″. Geuss he knew how to fight with that current. This was actually one of the best days I’ve ever had at this stream. I landed a few, but missed at least 8 fish, some pretty good sized. Looks like this streams in good shape.
Yesterday’s location took me to my favorite stream in the county, for good reason. This stream has it all. Plunge pools, rock slabs, riffles, pools, and fish willing to hit dries, streamers, and nymphs. I fished this stream with a fellow board member over a week ago, and we had a great day, hitting double digits combined.
I usually don’t fish the lower stretch of this stream, but after heading of some massive brookies in this stretch, it was just too hard to pass up. I entered where I usually do, and started working downstream. I decided that I would work all the way down to a part which I’ve never fished, then work up the stretch I just fished.
I quickly had a vicious hit and then landed my first fish of the day. A nice 8″ fish that hammered my bugger. I got a few more hits on the bugger on the way down, and rolled a few. I got to a huge hole, which is formed by a old stone dam. It goes over about a 2′ plunge. I, of course, got tangled in a tree while fishing the big pool, so I moved on to the plunge. On the second cast, I felt my rod double, and drilled the hook into a heavy fish. I have hear there is a solid 12″ fish in this area, so I obviously was hoping it was that fish. It turned out to be a very nice, heavy 9.5″ native. I missed another decent fish right after that.
I continued downstream, and walked down a road to a part I’ve never fished. It’s a nice stretch, and I missed a decent fish in it. I came back to the big plunge pool, this time armed with a big conehead woolly bugger. I caught another fish from it, probably the one I missed earlier. It was a very pretty 7″ fish. I came up to the big pool. On the third cast, I was stripping in my bugger, when a huge fish inhaled it. And when I say inhaled, I mean literally, inhaled. I landed him, and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful fish I’ve ever seen. A hog of a brookie, about 11″. It was the second fish I’ve caught that the same board member has caught, both of them being 11″.
I worked upstream, and ended up having an amazing day. Vicious strikes. I ended up landing 7, and probably missing double that, mostly because of my slow/over reaction. Yep, the fishing has been good lately.