1-1-05 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Waters Fished: Paradise Springs
Fish Caught: 6/11 personally
Outing Date: 1-1-05
Weather: Cloudy & Rainy
Air Temp: lower 30's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Clear
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymphs, Scuds and Sowbugs
Pattern Color: Olive and Tan scuds were working well
Fishing Quality: bland punctuated by 15 minutes of insanity
So I spent New Year's day on the water at Paradise
Springs with Renee and Tim. Most of the day was cloudy, cold, and
tough...basically what I expected. Some of the guys from Milwaukee
had been there in the AM and they had the typical Paradise Stories...couple
fish caught but as usual, it was tough, several people getting their
first skunk of the year out of the way.
Tim arrived a good hour before we did...it was
indeed slow going. I casually mentioned that I might go try the
springhouse outflow...in a few minutes Tim was down there battle
his first fish. I saw it and came running, but by the time I arrived
he had released it and was back to fishing. Only then did he realize
that if he had waited just a second, his would've been the first
fish in the Rambling Reports for 2005. Oh well.
Eventually it started to drizzle....the fish pushed
a bit deeper and we all got colder. Drizzle became downpour and
we waited under a shelter; when the rain finally stopped the water
had been rested for about 30 minutes.
All morning, as is usual, the rainbows had been
willing to look but pretty much smart enough to avoid biting. Once
it started to rain, Renee was willing to take the skunk and leave
the cold in favor of a good book and the car's heater!
Tim and I chose to stick it out; after the rain,
in my first 3 casts, 3 fish, each time a small explosion of 20 or
30 fish rushing my flies the second they hit the water. My third
fish came to shore, we got it landed, took a couple pictures, and
then I asked Tim to just wait a second and not cast...I was worried
we'd spook these fish!
I ran back to the car and wildy exclaimed that
Renee must come back and fish. I arrived at the car, out of breath,
with what was probably a crazed, no, insane look in my eyes. "You
have to come now!". Renee took a lot of convincing but came
Meanwhile Tim had waited to cast; prior to the
rain he had been the only one of us to land a fish. Now we were
all casting, and each time your flies hit the water you'd get at
least one hit. Tim had fish disappearing underwater with his small
orange indicator, only to have it reappear, SPIT OUT several feet
down in the clear water. Somehow, during a cast, Tim botched it
and fouled out, having to sit to retie.
For 15 minutes after the rain, we could do no wrong.
ANYTHING worked. We hooked up with numerous fish. Every time a fly
hit the water at least 20 or more trout rushed it, and at least
one managed to eat it. Just as quickly as it had started, the fish
appeared to wisen up, perhaps realizing that they were being angled
over (at least partially due to our carelessness in concealing our
presence). I ended up landing 6 out of this feeding frenzy, Renee
got her first, and I believe Tim got #2 (I must admit I was too
busy paying attention to the fish on my line to take notice of what
he was up to!)
You hear about times like this on even the most
challenging waters, but this is truly my first time experiencing
it. If there was a hatch, we never saw it. The fish weren't feeding,
except on our artificial flies, which they crashed with reckless
abandon! So cold day, sluggish fish, cold rain, and suddenly some
of the most difficult fish in the state all let their guard down,
feeding with the gusto that can only be matched by the thousands
of trout in a hatchery raceway.
If this isn't a good start to the new year I don't
know what could be!