March 22, 2010

The Accidental Brown

Not many waters on this side of the sierras are red hot yet, but a couple are still in shape, which gives people a little hope. The Yuba is one of them, but I'm pretty sure I didn't miss much on the Yuba this last weekend. Heard stories of a big March brown hatch that produced zero risers, as well as reports upwards of 12 boats below the Hwy 20 bridge. The general rule of thumb is that there are about 4x-5x as many waderettes than boats, making the head count around 96 people on about 2 miles of fishable water. That's about 12 people fishing every 1/4 mile, or about 1 person every 60 feet..... No thanks.

Meanwhile, as the prespawn bass and striper fishing quickly approaches with these higher temps (but not here yet), we had to get a quick fix. Back to The River we went.

Winds were brutal pretty much the whole day, making casting ridiculous. Tough day, nonetheless we caught some fish. Managed one fish early on:

Things got pretty slow until about 2:30 when the BWOs started busting all over the place. Dry fly action was pretty good during the hatch. Saw some skwalas on the water, a couple with eggs. Fish were chowing! Nothing like casting a big fly to a big fish.

Lost my epic shades into the drink when a skwala tried to eat my eyeball underneath my glasses: It's like when a fly lands on a camera lens, and all the person behind the lens sees is this HUGE nasty flying thing, but substitute my eyeball for the lens. I don't think I screamed like a girl, but I did smack myself in the face... and down went the shades, skwala in tow.

Both Louise and Scott got tight with some really nice fish, but the story of the trip is Scott's accidental brown trout...

So I see this HUGE brown trout rising right in the soft water above this big rock. Pretty consistent with some big slashing caddis-type takes; olives are coming off everywhere. I'm way below the rock trying to cast up into the current seam and Scott is standing on top of another rock just above the fish. Scott's busy working another fish on the other side of the rock.

I work this fish for probably 30 minutes or so, changing flies again and again, but just can't get it to come up again. Getting a good drift from my angle was pretty gnarly, so I moved up above the fish and tried working down to it... still nothing. I yell at Scott to turn around and cast at this fish. He takes one or two casts and says, "Angle's not right... can't get a good drift."

Finally I give up, and Scott gives up on his fish too. With his rod in his left hand, hanging over the side of the rock, Scott slides down onto another rock about to hop into the water. Just then, his dangling fly hits the water and POW! that HUGE fish comes up and takes a bite. Scott didn't even have to set the hook... well... he didn't even know the fish had his fly until his rod was bent.

He called it the accidental brown. I think I may have left an accidental brown in my shorts when it came unbuttoned...

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