Thursday, May 24, 2012

Big Rattler, "Big" Brown and Almost Getting Locked In

By local standards this Brown is a trophy.
It's been years since I've fished this much.  Part of the reason for my lack of fishing was I lost most of my past fishing buddies to domestication and part of it was my other hobbies started to take up more of my time.  but now things have changed.  Chul and I hit the local mountains this afternoon and fished a tributary that he had fished not too long ago.  I wanted to the check it out since last year Chul was able to land a 14 incher out of this trickle of water.  As it's one of my favorites, I chose to fish my much too neglected Sage SLT 1 weight.  This rod was, up until I bought my NAC 4'9" 2/3 weight, my go-to local mountain rod.  The last time I fished it was on carp when I was trying to catch a  carp on every rod from 7 weight down to a 1 weight but its been years since its been on trout.

Rattlesnake crossing the trail.
While walking on the trail, Chul was pointing out an area that he had slayed several fish before when I yelled out WHOA!  Halting immediately, Chul saw me pointing ahead on the trail where I saw a huge rattlesnake.  This guy was old and fat, he slithered into the ivy and was gone.  I was shocked to see a rattler here as it is rather shaded from the canopy from the Alders and I would have thought the snakes would prefer the rockier and sunnier areas.  When we arrived at the tributary Chul noticed how low its gotten from the last time earlier this month.  After reaching the end of this small stretch of water and only catching a few dinks we hiked out of this part and moved on to the main body and started making our way to the bigger pools up ahead until we saw some knucklehead throwing rocks in it.  Leap frogging ahead of him, we saw a fly fisher already working the next stretch of water. So we moved further up.  We fished the next section and I managed a 6-7incher in very small pocket water while Chul worked a small pool and managed a 10 incher.

We made it to a one of the huge pools and I managed a 12 inch brown trout that looked as if it came from the Owens River.  If I showed this photo to anyone, they would be shocked to know that this fish came out of this dinky water.  It's shocking.  We moved to the next pool and it seemed the fishing halted quite a bit.  Even getting dinks was proving difficult.  On this pool I managed another brown that while not as big as the last was a nice specimen.  It was probably 9-10 inches.  I missed a few more and lost a few good ones when my tippet failed.  Continuing to move upstream, Chul fished a pool where he missed a nice 10 incher the last time he was here.  This time he managed to coax him to hit the fly and took him out of his slot that it called home.  We arrived at the waterfall and at my second cast I managed a nice rainbow.  Chul had a nice fish on until he bumped his rod on an overhead branch and lost the fish.  Several casts later the hole shut down.

We started to make our way out fishing a hole here and a hole there.  Chul managed a few dinks but the fishing had shut down on the river for whatever reason.  Perhaps its the changing barometric pressure or something but we were convinced it's the wacky weather that is coming in.  We hiked out of there and got in the car and headed down the mountain.  By this time it was past eight and when we reached the bottom we found our selves on the wrong side of a locked gate.  Oh crap!  It was past 8PM now and pitch black.  I saw a silhouette of a man on the other side of the gate and when he came into the light of the car I noticed it was a cop.  I got out of the car and he let us know that the gate closes at 8 and you can be cited it you don't make the closing time.  I apologized and he opened the gate and let us go without incident.  I thanked them and wished them a good night.

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