Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Fishing 2010 - Rocky Ford

As I announced in my last post, I did go to first fishing for this year to Rocky Ford Creek in Ephrata, WA. Simple report: nada, I didn't net anything. I think it's mostly bacause of my mental status. While fishing, even as of now typing, I didn't get any emotion such as: angry, sorry, urgent, pushing myself, etc. I was sure I was happy to get out and my body and mind were in good shape to go. But I think there must have been a relaxing late X'mas/New Year syndrome (since I was busy with cows) and my love & hate to Rocky Ford very deep in my mind.
I was not a bloody pursuer today (so I am not tired instead typing). I am not even planning some sort of revenge or re-match soon either.

These do sound like excuses. But I did have reasons that made me feel that way stronger.
First, I was the third customer though I pulled in 7:30am on Wednesday morning?? In spring and fall, I myself show up much earlier. But hey, it's January now. It's my day off. What are these people doing? Retired or weekend workers like me? Whatever. I get used to.
Second, I was definitely distracted by noises. A group of two anglers were talking so loud. They were in my sight but fishing faraway spots. No bother at all but why was I hearing all of their conversation from that far and why did they have to shout to chat? Also a couple of workers at hatchery were playing radio so loud. I can sing and drive along "Layla" but I can't cast and fish with that rythm. Give me a 4-count rythm (A river runs through it!).
Third, though wind was not bad at all, 10mph in a favorable direction, it screwed up what I wanted to see. When Rocky Ford is calm or just with a light breeze, I can really observe what trout are doing. I'd say I can speculate their faces and feelings!! (This is one of why some people consider here as technical.) I expected to see how they respond to my small midge patterns in the water. I don't this can be refered as "sight-fishing" as in bonefish or tarpon that I hear, but surely I am seeing what's going on. But winds caused continuous waves, which made tough for me to locate fish even at my usual spots. I tandem-rigged either two of scud/worm/midge with a Thingamabobber. It's a usual method so I could expect to catch fish but not quite fun to me. I thought about swinging midge soft-hackles by using waves but I did not see any adults in the air during morning.

Those two vocal anglers were actually catching some. I could easily see they were casting leeches blindly by their action and, of course, conversation. I know it works here and can be the first choise especially in this condition. But how boring it is to cast leeches blindly and strip-strip in stillwater. I am not being a poor loser. I like my worm and bobber better at here.

Since both action and my mental were slow, I changed my tactics or more like experimented another idea in my mind. Last time, I saw crawfish here in Rocky Ford. I observed a mama and a boy were playing in shallow. I was thinking this could be interesting to try because I knew the right-on-the-spot strategy. The fly will be Twin Tail Madonna in crawfish orange (deer-hair and rabbit strip). This is one of my recent ties.

I saw trout got really crazy and chased around in two different spot though they really didn't get to bite. This type of fly usually either scares off trout or gets eaten. That was actually fun enough. But then again, I used this with my floating line. I did not switch a spool with Kelly Galloup's full-sink line in order to fish harder and more effectively with this kind of streamer. I felt why bother to clean up one more line when fishing was predictable....... This really explains my mental status. Further worse, I don't even regret or nothing.......just numb.

Morning was like this all through. Now I moved up to the upper reach. Finally as I expected, midges were hatching. And winds were getting weaker. This upper end is probably the only one spot to swing soft-hackles among hatches without winds and waves.

Yet I did not have an urgent and desperate feeling to salvage the day. I did my regular fare with my soft-hackles. But I do admit this was the last resort or final weapon.

I tandemed a combo of these three.
Syl's Midge,

Mighty Midget Emerger,

and Percock Herl & Yellow Larva style.

I did hook one!! Please trust me!! I am not lying!! Look at the point of my fly. There's a tiny piece from trout's mouth, a size of scale!! Well, it was a 12-incher. It rose on swing, which told me it would be a small fish because larger fish don't come up all the was instead they slice the surface film.

At the very end of the day, 4pm, I finally had good taps while swinging the same fly. But now the fly was bitten and gone.....what a lovely day!!

This one was a feet away from where I was standing. Let's leave rod and flies behind!! All you need is net and spear!! Or you can snag it with #2 or 4 leech patterns!! Sorry.... bad joke. It may be debatable, certainly not technical, but I personally like to get close like this and dap my flies and to see how they react. These heavily-fished trout here seem aware of our presence. They do know how to get away from our shadows and flies. But also oftentimes they just act like normal trout and bite (it just didn't happen today.....). This is why I can speculate their faces and feelings!!

So I was numb and dumb all through today, but I did concern this fishery and felt sorry and pity for trout here. Every time I visit here, the water level seems getting lower that limits trout population and habitat and I see less trout in same spots I've been fishing (for today, it could be because of the day and season). And regular amount of garbages left by bad-mannered people.

I wonder if there's anybody around here in eastern WA who would feel the same. Probably not many.....or maybe nobody really cares. That's why there's nothing going on in Trout Unlimited and WA Dept of Wildlife & Fish that I expect to do something......

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