Sometimes a busy schedule means you can’t take a full day to hit the water. If that is the case, do what I do…. pair down your expectations. Shoot for a two hour chunk of time on a familiar piece of water close to home.
I spent most of the day in Virginia visiting family so when I arrived home I only had a couple hours to spare for fishing. I grabbed my glass rod, a few assorted necessities, a couple boxes of flies and headed to a local creek only 5 minutes from my house. Two hours of water time yielded 27 trout of various species. Not too bad!
I fished this size #12 Elk Hair Caddis that I tied and a size #16 gold beaded Pheasant Tail as a dropper. Go to my video Elk Hair Caddis: Fly Tying with Juan Veruete if you want to learn how to tie my simple version of this fly pattern. I typically tie my dropper line off the hook eye of the dry fly. I find that I get a much better hook up percentage doing this. I varied the length of my dropper line from 10 inches to a whopping 3 1/2 feet using 6X fluorocarbon tippet material. Eighty percent of my fish today came on the pheasant tail dropper. The dry fly took a few fish but was basically an indicator today.
I was on small water today so I used my usual glass rod set up for that. If you want to learn more about my small water rod and line set up check out my detailed video “Small Creek Rod & Line System”.
The first fish of the day was a nice stocked rainbow trout. It took my gold beaded pheasant tail dropped only 10” below my dry fly. The fish came from a shallow plunge pool so I shortened up the dropper. The take was barely perceptible with my dry fly only pausing momentarily to signal the strike. I set the hook on a good number of “non fish”. My motto is “If it looks different or feels different, set the hook!”
This beatiful native book trout was my second catch of the short fishing session but it was my favorite. You can see the pheasant tail nymph perfectly perched on his upper lip. There is something satisfying about catching native book trout on a glass rod. The take, the feel of the fish as it makes its best effort to escape and the nostalgia represents the pinnacle of fly fishing in the north eastern United States.
Fishing DEEP was the key in the pool where this wild brown was making his home along with several of his best buddies. I caught several trout from the top of the pool that dropped of quickly from only inches of shallow riffle to waste deep water. It’s a perfect lie for feeding trout but my 10 inch dropper wasn’t cutting it. I caught a couple on the dry fly but saw several trout rising just off the bottom without really giving my dry the stare down. Most of the fish wanted to feed close to the bottom so I had to make an adjustment. I retied with an awkwardly long 3 1/2 foot dropper line to my pheasant tail. That solved the problem quickly and I caught double digit trout out of the deep pool on the pheasant tail nymph.
What an incredibly great trip! Time fishing is time well spend. The next time you have two hours to spare, hit a local water and enjoy! I did!