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The Sportsman's Corner

A Day Off


Like this year's spring weather, last spring's was generally not proper for effective fly-fishing for trout. However, when weather and water conditions were appropriate, I hit the water with mixed results. In addition, the spring turkeys were effectively humiliating me; and by May 10 I was pretty much becoming a zombie from a lack of sleep, hunting during the mornings and fly-fishing later in the day when I could.

Weather gurus kept telling us that the next several days were going to drop buckets of rain that would foul up my favorite creeks for weeks.

So, figuring that I might be unable to fish again until sometime toward the end of May, I decided to take the morning of May 10 off from turkey hunting and fish a section of water where I sometimes do well during the spring. If we received the predicted rains, this section of creek would not fish well for a long time.

The morning began inauspiciously. During the 20-minute hike to the lower portion of the creek section that I planned to fish, a thunderstorm boomed through. I was halfway to my starting point, so I decided to wait it out. I propped my "lightning rod" (my graphite fly rod) against a big tree and hustled into an abandoned shed to stay out of the rain. This storm lasted only a few minutes. I then finished my trek.

The fishing began with three quick trout, one being a heavy 18-inch brown trout. As I continued upstream, a 15-minute cloudburst interrupted the fishing. I donned my raincoat and hunched up under a tree so that I wouldn't get soaked. After the storm ended, I continued fishing upstream through the meadows, landing seven more wild brown trout, including a beautiful 16-inch female. At 11:00, I headed for home and a much-needed nap.

Despite on-and-off rain throughout the day, I headed to the BFO River that evening, hoping to run into sulphur mayflies and rising trout. There were no sulphurs, but some smaller mayflies were hatching; and a few nice trout were eating them in the slightly discolored water. I managed to catch and release a half-dozen trout up to 17 inches before the flies quit emerging. I slept well that night.

The rain that effectively ended any chances of fly-fishing for several weeks didn't occur until May 13th, when the heavens let loose and all my favorite trout streams rose to unfishable levels. But, my day off from gobbler hunting had turned out to be a pretty good one for trout fishing.


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