I went out on my deck at 10am to take in the warm outside. As I sat there 3 different neighbors walked by. Couple dog walkers and a couple joggers. The City Streets Department guys were shoveling leaves into a truck. A van was driving around the neighborhood with loud music and it was hooking the horn often. The windows of the van had signs that said: "We miss you children." Doudna Teachers sign in other window.
I have been grappling with a dilemma for a couple days. I want to be a good citizen and socially distance and do my part to stop the spread of Covid-19. The streets being busy and bustling was more than I could stand. I would interact with far fewer folks on stream than on my front deck. I was on the water by 10:30am. I decided to limit my adventures to off the beaten path streams near home.
The conditions were 48 when I arrived. Overcast and water clean and normal levels.
The trout were eager and most times too eager today. I landed 17 trout by 2pm. Was still overcast but was 60 degrees. I walked to the vehicle when I had a early season dilemma that really chafes my behind. I am not a supporter of any mandatory catch and release. I release 98 to 99 percent of the fish I catch all the time.
Typically in real season I only keep ones that are for sure in my mind that are not going to make it. My father taught me wanton waste of fish was one of the worst things an angler can do.
This photo is from the second biggest trout of the day.
He was healthy enough to get a photo of. He swam away with no ill effects. Add about 4-5 inch and you have my big trout of the day that did "not" get a photo because it inhaled my lure and I had to play surgeon. After unhooking it I attempted to revive the big male brown. It swam away crooked and disappeared. Maybe it lived maybe it is raccoon food. My soapbox speech is over.
I have been like a caged lion for a few days. The wife knew this no fishing thing was wearing on me. I even did the dishes and put them away. When I raked the yard she knew it was time. She told me to put my rods back in the vehicle and get out of the house because I was driving her crazy.
I smiled and said crazy "er". She grabbed my rods and put them by the door. She told me that my streams were very isolated and I should pick one in Richland County to limit my driving.
I geared up and started thinking on where to go. I thought headwaters and isolated. The light bulb went on and I knew the place I was going. It is a place I have driven by for decades and thought I should fish there some day. I have never seen another soul on the stretch. I would need to wade it.
Sunny and 43 when I began at 10am. Water clear and normal depth.
This beaver dam started out the trip with 5 browns and one nice male brookie.
I caught fish in every drop pocket with over 12 inches of water. I had many...many hits with no hook ups. Blamed that on the clear water and sun.
picked up 5 browns and three brookies from this run. No gill lice.
Most holes with any depth were loaded with trout
I scored my 19th tiger trout. A "Driftless Trifecta"
This is the last hole I hit. I assessed the hole and thought the bigger trout would be on side near the rock on the right. The area looked deeper there
I dropped my spinner in about 2 feet from the rock and let it drop for 2 count.
My panther martin was slammed immediately upon retrieving.
I popped a photo of him and sent him on his way downstream about 20 yards so he wouldn't spook the hole.
I fired in at the bottom of the fast water at the head of the hole and got hammered again.
I set him free downstream also.
I landed another 6 trout in the hole.
I quit fishing at 2pm. It was 58 degrees out and very sunny.
I landed 47 browns 22 brookies and one tiger.
Not another track on stream. I saw no other living beings. I interacted with only the trout.
Scored 2 huge permissions over the last couple days. Both connect. Talked to the owner of the lower part this morning. I asked him if he ever had chased trout in there. He told me once 50 years ago when he soaked a worm for 20 minutes. He told me exactly where to go so I would be close to the water.
My view from near the vehicle. I was going to leave the rod in the vehicle but the urge to try this massive water "Needle In A Haystack" was more than I could stand.
I walked 300 yards and worked the three areas pictured.
This stretch was very intimidating and the amount of water to cover daunting. The water was still kinda cold so I hit slack water and obvious step drops.
I felt under gunned for the waterway. I hit the hole pictured above. I slowed my retrieve at shore because there was a deep slow area near the bank. My spinner suddenly slammed on the breaks and then continued. I dismissed it as a log or snag. I threw in the area 20 more times. No snags or logs. I even slowed my retrieve even more to try to snag. No snags.....My next thought was: "Giant trout or maybe a pike,"
This needle in a haystack area will need some more exploring with some bigger stick baits the next time. I barely scratched the surface of this new permission.