December 21, 2009

Why does the Truckee hate me?

We were deserving of a redo on the Truckee after the last showing. Spending 6 hours stuck in traffic last time for an hour and a half of fishing definitely sucked, but we did catch fish in that hour and a half, and that was enough to send us back. So, this last Sunday we went back for seconds. Again, we knew there was a storm coming in that night, but it didn't slow us down. Like the mouse to the electric cheese: we wanted it regardless of the shit we might end up going through... again, and again, and again, and again...

At least the storm held-out until we were off the water, but this time it wasn't the weather that defecated on a perfectly good day of fishing. Oh no... the weather?... no problem... roads?... totally clear... broken rod?... not that day... skunked?... nope... how about an overlooked barb on a size 18 hare's ear?... life sucks...

No explanation necessary...

Regardless of the well over-exaggerated unnecessary fine that I'll probably need a payment plan to pay-off, the day wasn't a total loss: the fishing was pretty damn good! There was so much snow covering the rocks and the banks that it was actually easier to get around in the river.

Cold water meant that the fish were holed-up in the deeper slower-moving water, but they were surprisingly willing to take a fly. I would go so far as to say that they were actually moving quite a bit to take the fly. Presentation (as always) was pretty important, but it didn't seem like you needed to put the flies right in front of the fish.

The hot fly for me was a size 18 tan hare's ear (barbless).

Fishing the Truckee this time of year lends itself to sight fishing, but we were only able spot one hole the entire day with fish in it that we could see. Granted, there were about 8 fish in the hole, and we managed to land 6 of them.

Scott with a fatty that we could see eating suspended critters in the water column.

Most of the fishing was to good-looking water, and generally that would produce fish. Scott's hot fly was a midge larva/pupa that you can see in the corner of this fish's mouth.

Because of the lower flows, the fish were congregated in deeper water, which meant that where one fish was there were likely others. Most of the time we'd fish to the same hole even after two or three fish had already been pulled to hand from it, and still catch fish.

The fish were healthy and had plenty of energy even in the cold Truckee water. Several times a hooked fish would actually run up and down and in and out of the pool it was hooked in. Not the same lethargic fish from the last trip.

I don't know what the water temps were, but the water felt cold enough when you put your hand in it. The air temps were probably in the 40's with a fairly stiff wind. Skies were partly cloudy, and in the sun it felt like 70 degrees.

The Truckee proved, once again, to be a great winter fishery... Just remember to pinch your barbs...

Louise waving goodbye to the Truckee after a citation and a hook in the finger.

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