It was a cold morning and the water has been running really high but I had to go fishing because I have not been for 3 weeks (for me that is a long time) due to expos, weather, and extra work. Went to fish an area I fished last spring with much success and the water there that is usually about knee to thigh deep was probably well over my head deep, so I had to go further up to find better fishing conditions that I could wade in.
Took me about an hour to an hour and a half but I finally found water that was good for wading and fishing. There was plenty of rainbow trout in their spawning colors. There were also many enormous carp that I would love to learn how to fish for with my fly rod and reel setup some day, the carp were seriously the length of my leg. I was fishing with my HELLbender Tenkara rod so I didn’t feel like taking on these huge carp today.
The rainbows did not seem interested in anything in a dead drift presentation today, they seemed to like fast sinking flies and lots of movement. What worked for me was white bead head soft hackles with purple wire ribbing and small streamers in a tan color (I was using a modified zonker). They wanted it to be moving as soon as it hit the water and would follow it most of the time and were very aggressive when they did strike. Using my HELLbender Rod I kept the fly movements to short slow paced twitches of the rod tip, this rod is great for larger fish and heavier flies that I was using.
By the time I was getting into some fish I was also getting quite cold due to chilly weather and the very cold water temperatures. This seemed to throw me off my game and made me feel a bit rusty on playing these big trout. The first four trout I hooked were crazy fighters and liked to go airborne despite keeping the rod low to the side, all four found a way to get off the hook before I could get them very close to me. I was starting to wonder if I would be able to get one to the net to see their fantastic colors before I had to get headed home.
Then I finally hooked up with the beauty pictured below and played the fight just right to get it to the net and see their colors up close. Fortunately he calmly posed for some quick photos before releasing him full of energy and power. It was a great feeling to hold this fantastic trout just before needing to head home.