Just before the last run of monsoons, I decided to give a beat of the Little Elkhart River a second chance. This particular section happens to be outside the catch and release area, is extremely remote, and just happened to kick my ass a few weeks before, resulting in many lost flies and a broken rod tip. #angermanagement.
The waters were just starting to clear up the first of July and the air temps were hovering around 70 degrees! Mid May weather in July?? Time to fish! Having fished for a few hours the night before, I was expecting a good bite. I parked my wagon at the bridge and made my way upstream. Experience has taught me that if you catch a trout under the bridge, or before the second bend, fishing is going to be good. I had no such luck, but not for lack of effort.
This was my second outing with my new Orvis Recon 10' 4wt. rod. I was skeptical that the rod would be a worthy replacement for my Greys Streamlight, but my doubts were quickly dashed! Orvis out did themselves on this rod. It is noticeably light, sensitive and versatile. But more on that in an upcoming post, this is a fishing report after all.
Immediately after the second bend, a bump and a colorful 10" brown. The river has really changed through this section since last summer. Log jams have moved, new trees down, lots of new runs and riffles. And I fished them all!
I took a few more "smaller" browns has I headed upstream. The water continued to clear and the fish were holding exactly where I thought they should be. I came to a new, massive log jam and studied it for some time before deciding how to approach this monster of a run. I fished the backside first, taking a brown and missing another, lost two rigs on the mid section before moving to the top section, which was the least impressive looking and directly in the sunlight. I bounced my fly of the log creating this massive hole and raised my rod tip to keep tension as my flies quickly sunk and I began my drift... BAM!! This fish had some shoulders!! And lots of snags to run to! After a couple of dicey moments, I brought the beast to net! A beautiful 17 inch fat brown trout.
After gently reviving the fish, I carefully released the trout back to it's home, checked my rig, and once again drifted my flies through the run. This time, on the rise at the end of my drift, a 13" hold over bow nailed my ATO Bishop. Two cast. Two double digit trout. Am I in Indiana??
The next 500 meters of fishing proved to be maybe my best to date. Just 75 meters upstream I stuck another monster brown, this one coming in just over 19"! What a day!
And it wasn't over, by the end of the day I had caught 6 trout at 15" or bigger. Not to mention a sunfish, and two smallmouths. I believe that would be a grand slam!
As I made the long trek back to my chariot, I couldn't help but smile while I sipped my beer. An amazing day of fishing. I did't even care that my waders failed two hours in and I kept having to bail them out all day. This fishing season really is shaping up to be one of the best I've ever had.
Water has been is the low 60's, which is awesome for this time of year. However, today the river is high, stained and basically unfishable. Should be better by the weekend.
Flies: Nymphs and streamers. Green bugs!!