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The Mad Duck

ALWAYS have a Plan B

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So this weekend, yesterday and today specifically, were my annual float the river days. Day one for Smallmouth and the second for Trout. The wheels came flying off of that Thursday night,when the areas were were supposed to fish got inundated with about 3-4 inches of rain. The Small mouth stream we had planned to fish was WAY high and really dirty. We drove over to the trout streams we were planning on fishing and they were also WAY high and looked like Chocolate milk, so, Home we went. We had to scrub the day. My buddy watched the rivers flow online yesterday throughout the day. The streams and rivers were falling, but still pretty stained. We had planned on fishing a clear area in the upper stretch ,but being a holiday weekend, we knew we would be sharing the stream with 10.000 other boats, rafters and tubers, so, Plan B.

We rode until we found stained water, put the boat in , and started fishing. The plan was to work the seams where dingy water met clearer, but stained water. We tried nymphing along the seams, but after an hour of fly fishing...Nothing. So,Plan B went into effect. The Fly Rods got put away and the spinning rods came out. My buddy said that a lot of times, working a spinner or a jerk bait in the stained water edges would catch fish when nothing else would.

I tied on a Panther Martin with a black body and gold blade onto my ultralight and a trout pattern jerk bait on the larger rod. On about my 3rd cast, I hooked up with a nice Brown trout that was 18inches +/-.

That was a really nice pull on an ultralight with 4 Lb test. We brought the fish in, snapped a photo, then released him. Nice start. In the next couple of hours we caught 6-8 fish in the 14-16 inch range. We weren't catching a lot of fish, but the ones we were catching were larger on average than what we normally catch there. We pulled up to the bank, dropped anchor and ate our lunch. We watched a deer cross the stream and a pair of Kingfishers chatter at  each other as the flew up and down the banks of the stream. We finished up with lunch and pushed back out and started fishing again.

About 50 yards down, I hooked a fish that really didn't feel like too much, at first, but when the fish turned, we got a look at it, the fish got a look at us and it was ON. We tore up the stream for a few minutes, and finally brought the biggest Brown Trout I have ever caught to the net. The fish was 26 inches long and my buddy estimated the fish close to 7 Lbs, on a little Panther Martin tied to a 4lb ultralight rod/reel. We shot a few photos and revived the fish and watched it swim away. 2 casts later another nice fish or 19-20 inches. After that we hit really deep ,flat water and we caught a few more 14 inch fish.

All in all, 4 fish in the 19-20 inch range, 6-7 in the 14-16 range and 1 big mamajamma. We did manage to catch 3-4 Rainbows that were 12ish inches.

We didn't get to catch these fish on a Flyrod, but if it hadn't been for Plan B..We would have not been fishing at all

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9 hours ago, Chris_in_Louisiana said:

Nicely done!  Those are some beautiful browns.  Must have been a blast on that UL.

That little ultralight is a lucky little rod. I caught my personal best bass (11.08 lb,,post spawn) on that rod as well.

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Some great looking browns there Ken, nice and healthy 😎

Next time give some big streamers a go and see if they work better than nymphs. Usually my best streamer days are right after rain when the water is higher and stained.

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1 hour ago, Steeldrifter said:

Some great looking browns there Ken, nice and healthy 😎

Next time give some big streamers a go and see if they work better than nymphs. Usually my best streamer days are right after rain when the water is higher and stained.

We did try streamers during the hour or so we did try fly fishing. The fish were just looking for something with a bit more movement and vibration. The jerk baits we used had rattles in them and the spinner puts off a good bit of vibration and I think that was the key to success yesterday.

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Beautiful fish- Rain ruined my fishing plans over the long weekend.  🙄

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