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3-08-03 - Trust me I'm just about as sick of river pictures as you are. Upstream on the Trail.
Hey, this has to be a gorgeous river in the summertime. Skaminia anyone?

3-08-03 - The SMOLT Report...A good day for birdwatching!

Rivers Fished: Trail Creek (IN)
Fish Caught: 0 (1074 if you count the smolts LOL!)
Outing Date: 3-08-03
Weather: Overcast, then rain, then sleet, then snow, then WIND.
Air Temp: Upper 30's dropping to probably 30 or lower.
Water Temp: 37 - 40 F
Water Level: Ultra Low
Water Color: Trail Creek is Jade Green Stained, upstream after the rains it was muddy
Fish Species: SMOLTS ;)
Pattern Fished: Glo Bug, Antrons and Speys
Pattern Color: Assorted
Fishing Quality: Two big thumbs down

3-08-03 - Hey folks, it's gonna be a short report today 'cause there wasn't much to talk about! And 1074 smolts is a JOKE...we probably did have to land and unhook a few dozen easily however.

Got started on the lower portion of Trail Creek around 1:00 pm. Water was between 37-38F. We started in one of the deeper pools. Probably 30 minutes in it started to drizzle; CS (the smart one) went back and grabbed his rain gear. My first "smolt" hit a glo bug...which rapidly dissentegrated! CS faired no better, landing several fingerlings on spawn. I switched up and tossed a couple antron bug variations, got many more smolts! CS continued with the spawn, an got more smolts.

So I moved upstream and fished in front of a logjam...got more smolts. Started tossing Antrons to the far bank....got more smolts. Drifting under the log jam and swinging the return, even MORE SMOLTS. Then out of nowhere, as I'm retrieving along the face of a log jam..just when I'm down to nothing but leader and lifting, I literally lift the fly out of the water just as a larger (like a 2-4 lb) fish comes flying out from underneath the jam and is CRUISING head on for the Antron. GD SOB MF WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? I literally lifted the fly right out of the fish's mouth. So suffice it to say...the Herring-Back Antron worked again..I f'd up. And some folks on TSS give me grief for suggesting this pattern! Hey, it has gotten more interest this winter than ANYTHING ELSE I've tried.

Moving further upstream at this drop-in we ran across a couple other anglers...they had a good morning with 3 landed and a large buck off, all in the same pool that some other anglers had seen so much success in last week. MUST be a honey spot...heck if I'm tellin. They were using jigs. Based on a suggestion that speys may indeed work in the winter, and seeing what these guys were tossing, I switched it up and tossed my Purple X.

Oh, did I mention it was raining? Well, it had started comind down pretty hard. By this point it started sleeting. And then finally huge snowflakes. CS & I tried and tried but by this point I was literally SOAKED TO THE BONE. Cold is one thing...I can handle cold. Cold & Wet? Well by this point I could still FEEL my hands, so I wasn't getting frostbite, but the wind picked up, and honestly I was miserable. My hands HURT, BADLY. I decided it was time to warmup.

About 4:30 CS & I got warmed up while driving to another spot further upriver...basically for a change of scenery. The shots I've included here are from this area. Again, not outing spots, just saying that hey if you recognize it then you've already been there. Whoopdedoo!

So the rain had muddied the water upstream. Water temps upstream were surprisingly a bit warmer, right around 40F. We gave it about an hour and called it.

Despite no fish, I did get to see a few nice birds out, including a Great Blue Heron that was flying down the river (never been that close to one before..only 10-20 feet away as it flew by). Also got to see some Wood Ducks (those just aren't that common anymore!) and a Kingfisher.

Not much else to say. We tried today, put forth a great effort, but the steelheads had their way.

  MP 

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