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1-1-05 - Renee works her offerings over the trout at Paradise Springs.

Unlike this time last year, Paradise is still full of trout.

Tim "The Enchanter" works the far end of the pond.

My first Rainbow Trout, and first fish, for 2005.

Tim documents the occasion.

Renee with her first fish of the new year.

During the chaos I managed 5 more rainbows, this was my 2nd for 2005.

Rainbow #3

Rainbow #4

Rainbow #5
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Rainbow #6...between the cloudcover and oncoming dusk the flash was pretty much required to get a good shot!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

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 back.

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!

  MP 

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