Now that the weather has cooled, I have my favorite pools and runs all to myself again. No longer must I silently curse when I find them occupied by noisy splashing children or sweaty city dwellers cooling their feet on the sweltering days of summer.
The fish, though definately not trophy-sized, are feisty and very willing to take almost any well-placed caddis or mayfly immitation - as long as they are not spooked, or the fly lost to a tree first...
It is a different sort of challenge to the kind of fishing I find myself doing in the summer, where it's all big rivers - a match-the-hatch, cover-the-water, pound-the-ground approach to finding the fish.
On a small stream, the work becomes much more deliberate, delicate, and calculating. A likely lie must be approached with stealth, keeping low to the bank (my knees are still killing me), getting into position where a cast can be made without snagging trees or other obstacles. The presentation must be light and the line clear of the fish's suspected location. One false move, and the hole may be spooked - leaving me to scout for other prime spots while I let the first settle for a while.
The strikes are often strong and hard (and awesome!), and these wild little fish in the cold, clear water put up a surprising fight - especially when one uses a 2wt rod.
Fish over a foot long can be found hiding in the shallowest of runs, where the banks are no more than a few feet accross. It never ceases to amaze me - the amount of life these small, small streams support.
Did I mention - Cuts too!?
It is beautiful.