Baby Brookies and Confused Crocuses

Mossy Creek 1/31/12
Kyle’s Mill Rd. Mt Solon, VA
1400-1630
Air temp – 68
Water temp – 63
Full sun, no clouds
15-20mph winds from west
Water clarity – turbid
Hatch activity – brief size 20 midge hatch

Dr. Peterson and I both worked a night shift on Monday night. It was my last of five in a row in the ICU and it was Dave’s first night on OB. After a quick nap, Dave and I set off for Verona. My pass needed renewed and Dave needed a new one. The lobby of the VDGIF building had two tanks where they were raising brook trout as a project for school children.

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Unfortunately, that picture will be the extent of the fish porn for this post.

The gravel lot below the church was already full by the time we reached the stream. Seems this little burst of spring-like weather aroused something primal in the hearts of fly fishermen across the region. Too bad wind punching precision casts and the trout’s appetite for poorly drifted dry flies weren’t also aroused.

It seems some other spring time awakenings were a bit too early as well. This is my first time seeing crocuses in late January. Thank you la nina.
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We walked upstream looking for a curve or bend not already populated with a fisherman. The first three gentlemen we passed said they had little to no luck, but there were rumors of an older gentleman who landed four on a brown Wooly bugger.

Dave went with a weighted tippet tip and a nymph and sow bug imitation dead drifted along current seams next to clumps of watercress. I set up a size 16 cressbug imitation with a small split shot and then dropped a size 18 partridge and red. My goal was to dead drift the cress bug up and across next to the undercut banks and same watercress hiding holes Dave was drifting through. Then at the end of the dead drift I would let the soft hackle swing across the current hopefully enticing some wary browns.

These best laid plans were foiled mainly by the wind and sun and crowds. I hooked into one small fish on the swing, but he broke off before I landed him. Dave had not a nibble, but he did manage to lose his thingamabobber as well as his temper when the wind stole his perfect loops.

It was a frustrating and empty trip back to the car. Cue the quote about how fishing isn’t really about catching fish, but just being outdoors on a beautiful day!

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2 Responses to Baby Brookies and Confused Crocuses

  1. Mark Sturtevant says:

    68 degrees… I should be so lucky. I spent a cold Sunday along the Quarry Meadow with nary a touch. Walked until my knee ached but no fish. Still paying my dues for that 6 pounder last Friday. Perhaps I can repeat this Friday!

    Enjoy that warmth!

  2. Yeah, enjoy those temperatures — it was 20 degrees when I hit the water this morning and only just got above freezing after three hours…

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