I was planning to spend Thursday evening on the river, but thunderstorms once again threatened to disrupt my fishing. As 4:00 pm approached, I stared out the window at my desk, watching the wind pick up and clouds roll in. The forecast was calling for a 60% chance and it certainly looked like a storm was in the making, but I decided to take my chances anyway as I left work and headed north in rush hour traffic.
I was hoping to do some stillwater fishing for a change and when I arrived there was only a single person on the water. The winds had picked up again and the sky was still looking grim. By the time I geared up, the sole angler had paddled in and was headed home. He mentioned the fishing was slow and considering the current weather conditions, I was headed out with fairly low expectations. I paddled to the far side of the pond, set the anchor and tied on a tandem rig: a leech pattern and nymph. When I looked up, ready to take my first cast, I realized the wind had dislodged the anchor and pushed me to the opposite side of the pond. This happened twice more in the next few minutes, before my luck changed for the better.
With 3.5 hours left to fish, the skies started to open up and the winds calmed. Fish were starting to become active and it wasn’t long before I hooked into my first Rainbow of the night.
My first Rainbow Trout of the evening, took a good old Pheasant Tail nymph.
It seems that all the rain we were wishing for at the start of the season has finally caught up with us. The Grand River has jumped from a steady and measly 4cms to over 40cms for the last several days and other rivers in the area, including the Credit, have been running high and dirty. It’s put a bit of a damper on fishing some potentially great hatches, but I suppose that’s to be expected at this time of year. The good news is that it looks like some excellent fishing conditions are just around the corner.
Between the untimely thunderstorms, rain and other life commitments, I haven’t been able to spend much time on the water lately. Two or three hours after work, one or two times a week is about all I’ve managed. Most of my outings have been for Brook Trout and well… there’s not much to see there. Just a bunch of average but equally beautiful fish, as are all southern Ontario Brookies.
An average small stream southern Ontario Brook Trout.
It’s always a great feeling when you succeed in matching the hatch: you determine exactly what the fish are feeding on, manage to find a fly that closely resembles it and start catching fish. Often times this is how fly fishing goes. However, there are times when none of the logical patterns seem to work and instead, a fly that represents nothing the fish are currently feeding on seems to work best. It might be an Elk Hair Caddis when there are no caddis on the water, or it might be an attractor pattern. The Patriot is a good example of the latter on many northern Michigan rivers.
I got out again Friday morning before work. There weren’t many bugs early morning, so I started fishing wet flies. When that was unproductive, I moved on to nymphs and later tried streamers. Fishing was slow, with little more than a couple missed hits on the wet flies.
As the sun came up and the temperature began rising, I started seeing a bunch of these:
Lots of Tricos were hatching an hour or so past sunrise
I can’t say I frequent this stretch of river, yet it’s possibly my favourite and most memorable place to spend a day on the water. This is certainly one of the more scenic sections of river in southern Ontario. I rarely see another person here during a full day of fishing, which is likely due to the difficulty accessing it (a very long hike is required) and the fact that so many other more accessible sections of river offer easier and larger trout. For me, it’s a day out to enjoy the scenery and peace and quiet. The fact that I might also catch a few fish is an added bonus.