Sunday, September 15, 2013

Learning to Fish Fast Water Runs and Seams

I made it out to the Sipsey Tailrace Friday morning a couple of hours earlier than last week. The 6 AM start gave me a chance to miss the high humidity that one can’t escape if you live in the Deep South in September. I noticed immediately that there was no hatch at all, but that didn’t keep me from tying on the Bomber and letting it drip through a few runs. With only two hours to fish I knew that I couldn’t spend too much time with one pattern if it wasn’t producing. So with no takes on the dry, I left the run and went to the bank to try and come up with a game plan that would be productive for the time I had left. While sitting there enjoying the cool misty breeze coming off the water, I decided I would abandon the dries, nymphs and wet flies for the rest of the morning, and totally concentrate on the fast water up above me using nothing but the Seal Leech. I had used this pattern during the Trout Derby and had success with it in some slower water. So today would be its first test in the fast water above me.  
The water directly behind this boulder was less than a foot deep which became my position I used to cast up stream and let the Leech drift down and swing through the run in front of me. This run was fast but not anything like the water above me. So this run became my learning curve to get ready for the really fast water I knew I would encounter as I worked my way up this section. I really liked this water because of the deep pocket directly out in front of me. I had fish this area with a nymph and dry before without success so the Leech would get to test it today. First cast resulted in the Leech landing up and on the other side of the run. I stood here for at least 10 minutes working this one area. I was determined to give this water its due and at the same time work the area thoroughly with the Leech. 

My patience paid off as I made an extremely long cast close to the far bank and then let the Leech slowly swing through the deep pocket. I knew I had a take when I saw my line go and as I set the hook this guy went airborne. He posed for the pic a few seconds and then he was gone to fight another day.
I knew this area was going to be a challenge because of the rocks above and below I had to navigate through as I worked the Leech through some of the narrow runs and seams. If you notice this piece of water, it has numerous seams that can hold trout, and getting the right drift was a bit tricky here. The deepest water in this area was a couple of feet deep with some really fast water a foot or less. I had never fish here before. I always wanted to fish the place but was always intimidated by the current here. I am glad I had my wading staff, because most the rocks were covered with slick green moss. I knew I needed to hurry and get some cast in before the sun overtook the place. I begin casting to each seam and working it slowly, but at the same time giving the Leech time to worked its magic. I started immediately missing trout, I could see their sides as they would chase the Leech, and miss or short hit the fly----very frustrating!!
This trout broke the intimidation factor as I worked it close enough to use my forceps to release it. I decided not to net the fish because it was just too much work to get it to hand in this type water. As the forceps released the fly from his mouth the trout dropped into the water and poised briefly for this shot. This trout proved to me that I can actually fish some really fast water with success. In fact I have never seen anyone fish this area before.
Another fatty from this same area, which was quite a tussle bringing him back through the current with my 9 ft. 3 wt. I did manage to work him back to this rock for a quick pic. I waded a fine line here between the moss covered rocks and working this trout in position for a pic. I thought I was out West here guys; seeing the acrobatic show he displayed. As I brought this trout to hand I realize why we as fly fishermen and women love this sport so much. It is truly amazing!!!
This is an amazing little fly that can be used in either fast or slow water dead drifting. I found that most all the takes occured on the swing as you worked it back to you. I lost numbers of trout this morning because of short hits and of course me learning to fish a different type of water. I did find out that if you are going to fish this fly, get ready for some false casting. As you work the fly back to you line is building up at your feet; to make that long cast and get that great drift on your next cast that line has to go somewhere, hence false casting. In the end this lesson today was worth it.
As I was leaving I notice this little guy in a small puddle of water. I had never seen this type fish in the tailrace; I assume it may be some type of minnow. Does anyone have a name for this little fellow?




penbayman said...

Great outing Bill. It will be interesting to find out if someone knows what the mystery fish is. We're finally getting some fall weather here in Maine which means cooler waters and colorful to just catch a few..

Brk Trt said...

Nice going Bill. We all learn as we go, and there is always something new.
I can't recognize that small fish, but a streamer tied to represent it might produce a rainbow ofr two.

Bill Trussell said...

Certainly a mystery, the bigger rainbow in the tailrace could feed on those little guys. thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

The streamer would be worth a try--thanks for the comment

cofisher said...

Nice to see you out catching trout Bill. I'm going to have to get some of those flies to try as soon as the streams are fishable again.

Bill Trussell said...

I have found swing casting in fast water really works well with this fly. I think you would be surprised at its results out that way. thanks for the comment

BrookfieldAngler said...

Awesome outing, Bill!!! I have no idea what that last fish is. Maybe some sort of smolt?

Mel said...

Bill, been a fan of the Seal Fur Leech for a long time. Very effective in the ponds and lakes I fish also. Really thankful for this post as it helps to see someone catching some fish when we are so surrounded with the mess of the floodwater.

Feather Chucker said...

Nice post. I have no idea what that last fish is. Some kind of sculpin?

Juan said...

I agree, it is a fantastic sport! Great job feeding the trout the leech.

Bill Trussell said...

Enjoyed the trip and have another one planned tomorrow. thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

I have got to give this little fly a try come spring with the big bluegills. thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Could be a tiny sculpin, really don't know what it could be--thanks for the comment

troutlipper said...

Bill, I think that's a darter there at the end of your post, probably a Blackbanded one.