Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November: Winter catch and release State Park fishing

November 12, 2012 Monday: I had the day off and fished Bennett Spring State Park. The regular season closed on October 31 with the catch and release season opening November 9, 2012. Monday morning was cool (25°F) after a cold front and rain moved through on Sunday. The sky was clear with a variable wind, which ruffled the water surface; the rough surface provided cover for the trout and shielded my errors from casting shadows and movement. There were only a few fishermen with most of them throwing a line from the shore or fishing the handicap ramps. There was only one other fellow in view of me most of the afternoon. There was heavy equipment vehicles (dump truck, shovel) parked near the dam on the east side of the stream and a shovel on the opposite bank below the dam, in front of the old hatchery building. Mike Mitchell said there would be work on the bank stabilizations projects and work constructing a new platform below the dam.
MDC project for stream bank stablization
The BWO hatch was on time, with the wind blowing from the east; sailing the small Baetis mayfly across the stream above the dam. The trout took delight taking these small morsels. For me, the problem was too much sunlight on the water and welcomed an occasional stiff breeze to make cover for the trout. The trout took the flies by coming straight up out the water showing most of their head on the take and would many times pull the fly out of their mouth. I missed three trout for everyone hooked… it was still a joy watching these trout chase the fly. It was almost 4 PM and near the end of the day to fish. I had my last fish on when a pair of eagles flew up stream just above the dam with the low sun beaming on the birds. I could see the blinking of the eagle’s eye as it passed over me. At the end fishing day, the sound of the siren blasted. I returned to the truck to stow my gear and remove the waders. I then walked back to the water’s edge to get a few photos of the eagles perched on the sycamore trees along the stream. I returned fifteen trout with many short strikes. On the way home, I had to stop for herd of deer as they cross the road in front of me. The next planned trip will be Nov. 18.
November 18, 2012 Sunday: Rod and I met in Marshfield at 11 AM, where we commuted to Bennett Spring State Park. It was a sunny day with a light variable wind. There were a number of fishermen from the spring down past the stone bridge. Rod fished his favorite spot, which gets little attention from other fishermen. I started near the dam and worked upstream a bit until several fishermen moved down stream. The bright sun produced shadows that spooked the fish, especially the trout in the shallow waters near the aquatic plants. It made for a challenging day. My best time for hooking trout was the last thirty minutes when the sun moved behind the bluff enabling the trout to take a #16 caddis. Rod found a dozen in shallow water without getting wet and I managed eight on dry flies. We saw a number of turkeys out in the fields with deer feeding in neighboring plots.
MDC working on the platform project
November 26, 2012 Monday: I finished a 12 hr. shift and had a short nap, woke and made a pot of coffee. After a few cups of java, I packed the truck and off to Bennett Spring State Park. The day was cloudy with a gusty NE wind. There was only a few fishermen and one in sight while I fished upstream of me, 150 yards. The hatch was light and with an upstream wind, left the mayflies in the aquatic vegetation in the small pools for the trout to take. I worked the edges, and managed to fool a few, very few fish taken in midstream. The eagles were flying high and on occasion hear them call out. I did have a Rod moment when I missed several trout in a row and checked the fly; found it was broken and missing a point. I finished the day releasing fourteen rainbow trout. The project in front of the old hatchery building is progressing with the forms built and rebar in place… I am sure in a few days they will pour concrete. There are more plans to fish the state parks in the near future... hoping for a exceptional fishing day.