Freshly Stocked Rainbows!

Lower Moormans’ River 2/26/12
Air Temp – 49 deg F
Water Temp – 43 deg F
Bright, cloudless skies, minimal wind
Water Clarity- slightly more turbid than usual in the slow water stretches
Hatch activity – multiple size 20 hatches

Anders Halverson finishes his book An Entirely Synthetic Fish with a discussion about why he has decided to pick up fishing again. Years before he started the research for the book, he grew tired of catching the same stocked fish over and over again. He spends the majority of the book offering scientific evidence for why wide spread stocking of rainbows was harmful to not only the environment but also to the quality of the fishing itself. Why then does he say in the last chapter that he has started fly fishing again? You’ll have to pick up a copy to find out.

His logic inspired me to head towards the Lower Moormans’ River, which I had on good authority had recently been stocked. Unbelievably, on a somewhat warm Sunday in early spring, Tucker and I had the river to ourselves.

The slow stretch adjacent to the downstream parking lot

There were noticeably more fish in the slow, deep section pictured above. The new fishes’ behavior was somewhat erratic I watched them for as long Tucker would allow us to stand still before wetting a line. There were plenty of midges and even a few reasonably sized stoneflies on the surface but none of these fish seemed interested. I saw one rise in almost ten minutes.
I decided to try an attractor: size 14 beadhead copper john. Dead drifting did the trick.

More colorful than expected

Three out of five casts resulted in a hookup. Not bad numbers! Tucker and I headed upstream and I changed the rig for a black wooly bugger that I planned to strip. No dice. I tried downstream and upstream dead drifting as well as swinging and stripping. The water was too murky to see if I got any looks with the wooly bugger, but I sure didn’t get any hits.

All in all a great Sunday. A little church, a little mimosa action, some Homemade cheddar cheese soup and some fine stocked rainbows to hand.

Midge hatch in the sunlight above Tucker's head

Harbingers of Spring

Improperly handled post hooking or genetically predisposed?

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