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DFoster

Nice Water! Or maybe not?

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Yesterday, 4 hours of small stream pocket picking on hemlock shaded cold, clear water yielded zero wild trout.  Some days the fish just aren't biting BUT I did catch a half dozen River Herring and several Fall Fish.  So far after 2 outings to this stream not a single Trout has been caught, lost or even seen swimming. For my trouble I almost stepped on a pair of very ill tempered water snakes who had found a sunny spot on the bank.   An unfortunate mistake of my looking where I wanted to fish and not where I was stepping.  The surprise large jolt of adrenaline let me know my 57 year old heart still seems to be working. (I can't wait to tell my cardiologist that story).  This is a new stream to me and so far I've fished it in two different locations about 3/4 mile apart with the same no Trout results.  It's clear, cold and I think most would agree from my photos, looks for all the world like it should be loaded with small wild trout. I'm going to take a few more shots at it later in the year and see what happens.

Anyone else have a story about really "perfect" looking water relative to whatever species your chasing that just never seem to produce?

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7 hours ago, DFoster said:

... a pair of very ill tempered water snakes ...

Is there any other kind?

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When I would go to other States for work, I'd always try to fish such little waters.  Never caught, nor even saw trout.   However, as long as I was catching anything ... I considered it a good body of water.  Good luck finding the fish you're seeking, but enjoy the fish you're catching.  I think there's a song about that !!!

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That looks like a great stream where a few brookies should reside. 

It happens, streams like that 3 or 4 fish is a good day in my experience. 

I know when I fish those small stream with near zero pressure from anglers or other two legged visitors, the brookies are extremely skittish, anything out of the ordinary will put them down for quite awhile.    Crouching down and treading slowly and lightly on my approach,  often casting from behind a bush or tree trunk on my knees, one or two casts, and they have to be pretty close to target, and then move on.  This time of year I think is also a bit tougher because of the lack of full leaves on the trees accents your silhouette, though another week and that shouldn't be an issue.  Keep at it, they've got be there.  

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We have the reverse of your problem in the backcountry of the Everglades (miles and miles of jungle shorelines, creeks, rivers, bays)... Every last bit of it looks fishy - but only maybe 10% holds fish (and it changes from day to day).  Most of my anglers take one look at the places we go to and ask "where do we start?".. .

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11 hours ago, niveker said:

That looks like a great stream where a few brookies should reside. 

It happens, streams like that 3 or 4 fish is a good day in my experience. 

I know when I fish those small stream with near zero pressure from anglers or other two legged visitors, the brookies are extremely skittish, anything out of the ordinary will put them down for quite awhile.    Crouching down and treading slowly and lightly on my approach,  often casting from behind a bush or tree trunk on my knees, one or two casts, and they have to be pretty close to target, and then move on.  This time of year I think is also a bit tougher because of the lack of full leaves on the trees accents your silhouette, though another week and that shouldn't be an issue.  Keep at it, they've got be there.  

As for the silhouette, approach from downstream to stay out of their sight window. I rarely fish downstream in small streams due to being close to the lairs of the fish.

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14 hours ago, redietz said:

Is there any other kind?

Given their attitude I'm glad they're not poisonous.   They have teeth though and I'm told they can bite.  Fortunately those two opted to slither into the water instead of putting holes in my new waders or leg. 

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They do i fact have teeth, they can and do latch onto what they bite and they will draw blood. Otherwise they are harmless. I’d be happy with herring and fallfish and maybe a little bummed if all I caught was a couple finger sized trout. Different strokes for different folks. 

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Even a non-poisonous bite can get infected.

 

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13 hours ago, mikechell said:

When I would go to other States for work, I'd always try to fish such little waters.  Never caught, nor even saw trout.   However, as long as I was catching anything ... I considered it a good body of water.  Good luck finding the fish you're seeking, but enjoy the fish you're catching.  I think there's a song about that !!!

 

11 minutes ago, Poopdeck said:

They do i fact have teeth, they can and do latch onto what they bite and they will draw blood. Otherwise they are harmless. I’d be happy with herring and fallfish and maybe a little bummed if all I caught was a couple finger sized trout. Different strokes for different folks. 

Guys I’m not disappointed at all about catching Fall Fish and River Herring, they are great fun on a light fly rod and I often go out specifically to catch both species.  My disappointment is only that they are very common in my area and can be found in either of our warm or cold-water rivers so catching them told me nothing about this river potentially having trout.   The question I was looking to answer is ‘Does this small stream have Brook Trout or wild Browns”? 

This spring I began scouting near by small streams that our state classifies as "cold water fisheries".    The trout streams I fish currently are 30-minutes to an hour away and the price of fuel is starting to impact my fishing.   There are most certainly wild trout streams a lot closer to my home, I just need to find them.

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1 hour ago, skeet3t said:

As for the silhouette, approach from downstream to stay out of their sight window. I rarely fish downstream in small streams due to being close to the lairs of the fish.

I agree with you Skeet and if I have choice fish small streams upstream.  That said one of the best small stream trout guys I knew almost never fished upstream.  He favored a dry fly technique of a short roll cast downstream just to get the fly in the current and then feeding it line as it drifted down stream.  

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2 hours ago, Capt Bob LeMay said:

 Most of my anglers take one look at the places we go to and ask "where do we start?".. .

There is no substitute for the experience of a guide fishing an area almost daily, your knowledge of where that 10% is =$$$$. 

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You're right about the knowledge part and I'd freely admit I'd be lost in any area I didn't know.... I must admit though -some days I go home feeling like a genius - and others I go home talking to myself... The sport we all love can be humbling at times...  understatement

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5 hours ago, DFoster said:

I agree with you Skeet and if I have choice fish small streams upstream.  That said one of the best small stream trout guys I knew almost never fished upstream.  He favored a dry fly technique of a short roll cast downstream just to get the fly in the current and then feeding it line as it drifted down stream.  

I  do that on my local tailwater, the Hiwassee River in East Tennessee. I cast and stop the rod at 12 o'clock and lower the rod to allow the fly to move same as the current. I then stop the fly, let it sink for a few seconds and retrieve a couple of feet. I get hits both ways. One can fish downstream and I have used his short roll cast. But one has to be careful. Green waders which is the most common, camo shirt, camo hat are a must in that instance.

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22 hours ago, skeet3t said:

As for the silhouette, approach from downstream to stay out of their sight window. I rarely fish downstream in small streams due to being close to the lairs of the fish.

 

21 hours ago, DFoster said:

one of the best small stream trout guys I knew almost never fished upstream.

Oft times on small narrow streams, its the choice of the lesser of two evils: the risk of lining them with a cast from down stream, or announcing your presence from up stream.  Easier to mask your presence from up stream when the trees and undergrowth are full of leaves.  .  

Its less of a concern in faster broken water like in the center of DF's 2nd photo, as opposed to the nice calm pool in the 3rd.  The former will also usually have a surprising bit of depth to them.  Less chance of the the fish seeing or being seen.  

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