What a strange few days of fly fishing this has been. Last week I posted about a Pike that I caught while fishing for Brown Trout on the Credit. Well, this weekend I was fooled again into thinking I’d caught a trophy trout (at least momentarily) when I hooked into another unexpected fish.
After a busy weekend with no fishing, I managed to sneak out for a couple hours of Brook Trout fishing Sunday night. There wasn’t much daylight left by the time I got on the water and I also was short on flies. It seemed that everything I had (that the fish were on to) was a size or two too large. I missed a lot of rises from smaller fish and landed a couple before dark.
On my way back upriver, as the last minutes of light were fading, I stopped to fish a large hole. I’ve yet to get a quality Brookie out of this water, but it looks SO fishy that I’m convinced it holds many. I don’t fish streamers for Brookies around here often, but I thought I’d try my luck at enticing a larger fish with a Black Ghost as a last-ditch effort for the night. A few casts in, my streamer stopped dead at the bottom of the pool. I yanked a few times but it wasn’t dislodging, so I walked downstream to pull from a different angle. As soon as I freed the streamer, I felt a strong pull and to my surprise a very aggressive fish ran first to the other side of the pool, then straight at me. When I finally got it in, this is what I saw:
I caught this Sucker after dislodging a snag at the bottom of a nice deep pool.
This is the first Sucker I’ve ever caught and I’ve got to say, it surprised me. I truly thought I had a monster Brook Trout on the end of my line for a while, or perhaps another Pike, but I certainly wasn’t expecting a Sucker. Obviously a disappointment when you’re expecting a colourful Brookie, but at least the night ended with some excitement.
It’s become a trend of mine to watch a good fishing hole decline in productivity, only to later find it was due to a Pike moving in. That was the case again last weekend during a trip to the Credit.
I got an early morning start and decided to take my time wading a long stretch of river that I hadn’t fished in quite some time. I started off hiking in to a hole that I knew held good fish, figuring early morning would be my best bet to land a decent fish. As I swung a streamer through the pool on my fourth or fifth cast, I felt an aggressive take followed by head shakes and some serious tugging. I hadn’t caught a decent fish from this pool in a while and judging by the way the fish was fighting (which admittedly felt very similar to a Brown Trout at the time), I was sure I’d caught the largest trout of my life.
Fortunately, I was fishing with 2X tippet, but unfortunately, when I finally got the fish to the surface, I realized it was another Credit River Pike that would easily make short work of my mono leader. This pike was quite a bit larger than the previous one I’d caught last season and for obvious reasons, I wanted to land it so I could get it out of there. These pike are Island Lake escapees and when they’re this far down, they would have had to descend the Cataract Falls. I barely prevented it from escaping downstream and managed to land it with my tippet frayed and almost broken off.
This unexpected Pike put a serious bend in my four-weight.
Every new trout season seems to come with its own unique characteristics and challenges. Last year it was higher than normal water levels and flows and this year it’s the polar opposite: some of the lowest spring water levels I’ve ever seen on many of our southern Ontario rivers. The long cold winter, which lacked in snow but not in record low temps, has left us with some pretty difficult early spring fishing conditions. That’s not to say that good fishing can’t be had, but many holes or runs that would typically hold good numbers of fish have been relegated to a couple feet of crystal clear water – no place for a wary trout. This equates to fishing the deeper holes that still provide enough cover for fish to hold in throughout the day or limiting fishing to lower light hours.
Abnormally clear, low water on the Grand River.