Another great day with the water cold enough for the trout and the air temperatures great for humans! Headed east again to see if I could better my numbers from last time. A bit windy but not too bad on this small body of water.
First fish, a small tiger trout on a mid lake weed hump, was caught using a damsel nymph on a sunk line.
The next fish I saw were a bit of a surprise.
I saw, what I thought was, tailing fish. I made perfect casts to it and got nothing. I also didn’t spook it. I thought is was concentrated around a log but the log turned out to be another fish. The water temps were perfect for a spawning dance as males competed. I saw this repeated all over the place. I assumed that catching browns was off the table. Here are some pictures of the action.
Not noticing an abundance of hits on the damsel and sinking line I went to floating and a variety of bead heads, settling on a GRHE to catch my second Tiger that was closer to 16″-18″.
Lost that fly in the bull rushes and switched to a slower sinking bead body soft hackle fly of my own design. This got me my next Tiger Trout (told you I wasn’t gonna get a brown).
Ran into a kayaking fly fisher who sat on a known hot spot but got nothing. He saw a few of the fish I had caught and asked what I was using. He told me he was using a leech pattern. In a teachable moment, I told him that fishing leeches this late was a bit of a gamble as they weren’t active and trout might not key in on them. He left and I cast to the hot spot and well….
I hate to be right…wait no I don’t
Caught one more near the launch around sunset.
One thing I have noticed in my last few outings here, is the lack of rainbows. I don’t know if they are still there (lots of bonk on the head types frequent here) were put off by the over active browns or are being out competed by the tigers.
Still good though!
So my favorite and secret little brook is under siege. Not from bait fishers or pollution, but from rodent developers. When I was introduced to this stream, 3 years ago, there was miles of fish-able runs up and down from the access point. Now the fish in this section are confined to one pool.
3 years ago there where 2 major beaver dams. They were old and well established. So they held fish. On a good day you could walk the stream for hours catching fish in a variety of riffles, runs and pools. At the end there was a beaver pond with more (and sometimes bigger) fish. Now we have all those runs under water and they do not hold fish at this time. The property owners don’t fish and don’t care. Now, brook trout streams need the beaver ponds. They hold back water to even out flows over the year, they allow sediment to settle to keep the water clear, etc. but with so much of this water on private land and inaccessible, I fear my days of fishing for wild brook trout are numbered. Here are some pictures of the trout caught from one tiny pool between the two marshes. As you can see there are over 30 fish!
I am not including the hits and LDR’s.
Now, for someone else, catching 33 fish without moving is a good day but I would rather catch 3 fish out of 11 pools, runs and riffles. As well I cannot imagine this is good for the fishery, spawning and such. The lower section was good in the spring but come summer and fall, it died off a lot.
I am torn between getting fly fishers involved and keeping it a secret, but I am not sure there is anything we can do. Maybe if the beavers flood the road the DNR will trap them out.
Sure as heck, if it was walleye they’d be fixing this.
I haven’t been out since the camping trip and not much since June. I tend to go away in the summer because it is so hot here and the fishing so poor that it is a waste of gas. So when the weather finally cooled off a bit I decided to hit my on again off again brook trout spot. It is quite a drive and quite a secret. The fish are small, quite a bit of tramping so not for everyone. But we keep it secret because all that won’t stop assholes from trying and therefore ruining it.
In the spring the whole area is great and stays good through most of the summer but, when the water levels drop they become harder to find. On top of the local beaver population is turning great runs in to silt pits.
I hit the lower section to only catch chubs.
As the chubs got bigger and the hits more frequent I thought I would get to ‘that run’ that always seems to have ‘real’ fish.
Looking up from my last chub I saw a large black bear walk out of the bush straight to that run. I reeled up and was going to make way back to the car. I waited to see if there were cubs and when I didn’t I took two steps down stream to see where it went, only to see it eye to eye. I booked it out of there making those ‘gruff and chuff’ sounds while I was I was also cursing myself for not making more noise, while out there alone, in fairly remote woods! I should have also notice how ripe the wild forage was!
Having made it back to the car in record time, I drove up stream to another access point.
The place is beautiful.
After wandering around the once nice runs that a beaver has turned into fish less silt pit, I finally found some fish.
After all that driving a bear, running and marsh hiking I didn’t have to budge an inch to catch my fill of these beauties!