Friday, April 5, 2013

First Trout of 2013

I was trying to decide where to flyfish last night.  I decided to try a nearby lake that had been stocked with trout in January.  I never know what to expect at this lake.  It can be tough.

I fished from shore from about 6:15pm until 8pm.  When I arrived, it was sunny, 57 degrees, with a 10mph wind from the North.  I fished a short section of the SW and South shorelines, where the waves were pushing into shore.  The water was clear and high.  I gave my Cabela's Hip Waders their maiden voyage.  But, once I stepped off the shallow rocks along the shoreline, I was sinking into the soft sand-covered clay bottom, so I just stayed on shore.  I was also using my new 9' 6wt TFO BVK rod, and Lamson Konic reel loaded with an Airflo 40+ line.  That line casts really well, even into the wind!

I started out using a heavily weighted Chili Pepper pattern.  I saw a couple small swirls down along the shore and tossed it that way.  First trout of the year was a TINY little fella...The DNR doesn't stock them this small, typically, so I was wondering if there was some natural reproduction going on in this lake?  Maybe...maybe not.

I made some casts towards deeper water, but wasn't getting the strikes I was hoping for.  So, I switched to an unweighted black Woolly Bugger.  I tossed that around in shallow water.  I ended up landing a total of 12 Rainbow Trout, and had a few others come unbuttoned.  Almost all the trout I caught came within about 3' of shore.  I pulled at least 6 or 7 trout out of one small area.  At first I thought maybe there was a slightly deeper hole there caused by wave action that was pounding a shoreline feature.  Later, I walked over and looked.  Nada.  It looked just the same as everywhere else, so I can't explain why I caught so many fish from that spot.  Must have just been my lucky night.

Trout #2 was bigger than #1.

And a bit later, I liked all the spots on this nicer fish:

As the light faded from the sky, the wind died down, and the lake surface smoothed out somewhat.  I could see fish hitting small bugs on the surface.  I cast to some of these areas with that Woolly Bugger, and got a couple follows, but no strikes.

There was a gentleman fishing not too far away from me.  He was using spinning/casting gear.  It looked like he tossed some lures, but mostly was sitting motionless, so I assume he was fishing some sort of bait.  I didn't see him catch anything...but I was pretty intent on catching my own fish to pay close attention.

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