The challenge of ‘hunting’ for trout in small mountain streams is a sport that requires, “a very particular set of skills,” as quoted by Liam Neeson in the movie, Taken. The challenge of fighting off buzzing bugs swirling around your head that also dive into your eyes, making sure your forward progress is slow and stealthy, avoiding casting a shadow on the water, using bushes and trees to distort your profile, choosing the preferred bait and of course making sure the first presentation is well delivered are all elements of the hunt. Fresh water mountain trout are hungry any time of the day; you just need to give them something they like and serve it up well.
Many times I’ve caught three or four inchers that hit a small garden worm hard! And the colors of a small brook trout are really beautiful. But on rare occasions when you look ahead and see a hole about two or three feet deep and four feet wide wedged among logs and sticks, you get excited. Could there be a giant hiding under all of that cover?
This was the case the other day. I fished downstream about a 100 yards with nothing going on. The stream was very shallow with hardly any place where a trout could safely hide while waiting for their next meal. But as I walked farther, I saw up ahead that the stream turned slightly to the left and deepened down to about three feet or so. Tall grass was helpful in hiding me as was the bend in the stream.
My first presentation was good. No obstructions. As soon as the small worm touched the water, I had a major bite! I knew right away it was not a three incher. I pulled the rod. The line flew up with no fish. I adjusted the worm and repeated the toss in. Bang! Another big hit. And again, no fish. But the third time the massive 11 inch Brook Trout stayed on! I was lucky that it did not twist off the hook as I lifted it up onto the bank.
Most of the stocked trout are taken as summer wears on and the waters warm. Fishing in broader/deeper streams and small lakes can leave you with an empty feeling and, at best, a few bites from a fish other than a trout. Fly fishing in catch and release waters, however, can still be rewarding. But you might just like the shade of the forest and hunting for potential monsters. Find a small, fresh water stream in the woods and enjoy the solitude and earthy aroma of the cool shade and go hunting for trout!