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O Christmas Trout

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  • O Christmas Trout

    For the first time in more 30 years, I found myself with no obligations on Christmas Eve. Bad weather and some nagging injuries have mostly kept me off the water in December, and I've been stir crazy. I got up at 3:30 in the morning, and checked gauges in 3 states to find what I was looking for (a fresh spike of water, in case you're wondering). When I found it, I loaded up the Subaru for a fairly long run.

    It turns out there's not a whole lot of traffic at 5 am on Christmas Eve, and I made great time. When I got there, I found the water reasonably but not unwadeably high, and stained up just the way I like it. Now, when I started fly fishing, all I did was fish streamers, and though I've branched out considerably since then, that big meat game is still in my blood. Even though the water had started to fall out a touch by the time I arrived (and, in my experience, fish mostly run bait on the rising side of the water spike), I started out throwing articulated streamers. I managed to move 3 or 4 real nice browns early, but couldn't get one to commit to the eat.

    After the first 30 minutes or so, I wasn't even moving fish with the streamer, so I bounced to a different stretch of the stream and switched up my tactics. This was the first high water this particular drainage has seen since back before the spawn, and I suspected there were lot of spent or unfertilized eggs still in the gravel when the rain pushed through yesterday. Hoping that those eggs would be in the drift, I pegged a bead on that pretty closely mimics the coloration of a dead trout egg. It was definitely the right choice.



    It was the last ride for my G3's, rumor is Santa is bringing me new boots in the morning.



    It doesn't look like much, but looks are deceiving.

    The only downside to pegging the bead is that you are systematically selecting for rainbow trout, which are essentially specialist nest predators that evolved to exploit salmon runs. If there are meaningful numbers of eggs in the drift, bows often become totally target fixated on them. I got bored of taking pics of cookie cutter 11-14" wild bows after the first five or six, and I stopped counting 30 fish and two hours into the day. I LDR'ed a couple of bigger bows that looked to be in the 18-20" range. Hot fish in tight quarters. It is what it is.







    Browns don't have the same suicidal inclinations when presented with an egg, but if you drift one close enough, you never know what might happen.





    And every now and then, you run into a real one, the kind you struggle to fit in the frame. That's two real ones in the last two trips to this particular spot.






    What I really liked about this fish is that I had never seen him, and yet, I had theorized his existence. I had a couple of encounters with the big hen fish in my profile pic before I landed her, so I had some idea of what her beat was Usually the big breeder females have a big buck or two that hang out in the same vicinity year round, I suppose the better to make sure they get to spawn with her. I knew there should be a buck like this fellow hanging around, but had never laid eyes on him until today.

    Merry Christmas, y'all!

    Dylar
    Last edited by Dylar; 04-14-18, 01:08 PM. Reason: restore images

  • #2
    Gorgeous wild fish there brother, I am sure it was well worth the drive.
    http://www.bigtflyfishing.com

    Use Promo Code NGTO for 5% off

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    • #3
      Thatís cool man...been doing some research on this technique...pretty underutilized round these parts. Seems like youve got a dropper set up. Are you using toothpicks?

      Also how long you had them boots...I recently go me the same pair.

      Thanks,
      G
      We are the music-makers,
      And we are the dreamers of dreams,
      Wandering by lone sea-breakers
      And sitting by desolate streams;
      World losers and world forsakers,
      On whom the pale moon gleams.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GoutUnlimited View Post
        That’s cool man...been doing some research on this technique...pretty underutilized round these parts.
        I'm not sure why that is. It's extremely effective, cheap (I use crafting beads), produces great hookups and is much less damaging to the fish than your standard yarn or jelly egg patterns.

        Seems like youve got a dropper set up.
        I ran several different dropper flies early on, hoping to add a few more browns to the mix. Eventually cut the dropper off because all that was getting eaten was the bead, so why introduce the extra hassle?

        Are you using toothpicks?
        Yeah, I peg 'em using a toothpick/stopper knot combo about an inch and half above the hook.

        Also how long you had them boots...I recently go me the same pair.
        I usually get about two seasons (fishing 100-120 days a season) out of a pair. I do a lot of bluelining, so I'm exceptionally hard on boots.
        Last edited by Dylar; 12-25-17, 08:55 AM.

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        • #5
          Great report enjoyed reading it!
          Roswellangler

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          • #6
            Awesome


            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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            • #7
              Great report, great fish!!!!! Merry Christmas indeed!
              " Is it ignorance or is it apathy?
              Hey man I don't know and I don't care" Jimmy Buffet

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dylar View Post
                I'm not sure why that is. It's extremely effective, cheap (I use crafting beads), produces great hookups and is much less damaging to the fish than your standard yarn or jelly egg patterns.
                .
                Personally, egg patterns have caught the most browns for me this year. I use yarn with a heavy tungsten bead. Many folks fish eggs and don’t like to admit so..,you know who you are! Don’t know about less damaging but, Are you not getting a bunch of snags on the hooks? Still I can see the advatages:


                1. The yarn gets nasties in it from weeds
                2. Yarn not as durable
                3. Yarn will slip eventually

                Here’s how I recon my success with eggs...I usually have one along woth A big anchor and figure the big fly lures them in, then the egg hooks.
                Last edited by GoutUnlimited; 12-25-17, 04:22 PM.
                We are the music-makers,
                And we are the dreamers of dreams,
                Wandering by lone sea-breakers
                And sitting by desolate streams;
                World losers and world forsakers,
                On whom the pale moon gleams.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GoutUnlimited View Post
                  Personally, egg patterns have caught the most browns for me this year. I use yarn with a heavy tungsten bead. Many folks fish eggs and donít like to admit so..,you know who you are! Donít know about less damaging but, Are you not getting a bunch of snags on the hooks? Still I can see the advatages:


                  1. The yarn gets nasties in it from weeds
                  2. Yarn not as durable
                  3. Yarn will slip eventually
                  The bead rides lower in the water column than the hook unless you've got a dropper off the bend, so it probably hangs up less than a traditional pattern.

                  The biggest weakness, in my opinion, of yarn eggs is that they often result in gut and gill hooked fish, especially when the fish are keyed in on the naturals and aggressively eating. The bead gets around this by separating the hook from the fly.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dylar View Post
                    The bead rides lower in the water column than the hook unless you've got a dropper off the bend, so it probably hangs up less than a traditional pattern.

                    The biggest weakness, in my opinion, of yarn eggs is that they often result in gut and gill hooked fish, especially when the fish are keyed in on the naturals and aggressively eating. The bead gets around this by separating the hook from the fly.
                    I'm not really familiar with this technique. You peg the bead above the hook and essentially floss hook into the trout's mouth when they bite the bead? How far above the hook typically works best for hook sets?
                    -skunked

                    Warning: all posts should be assumed to contain sarcasm and misinformation unless stated otherwise. The opinions shared are not necessarily those of the poster.

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                    • #11
                      My favorite part of this story is that you are catching beautiful wild fish (and some piggies!) out of a stream you can almost jump over. Looks can be very deceiving!

                      Great story!

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                      • #12
                        I'll bet you were whooped after hauling in all those beautiful beasts. Hope Santa did bring you some new boots - looks like you got the most out of those others.
                        Tight lines!!

                        Doc

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dsaporsky View Post
                          My favorite part of this story is that you are catching beautiful wild fish (and some piggies!) out of a stream you can almost jump over. Looks can be very deceiving!

                          Great story!
                          Honestly, it's my favorite part, too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by I_got_skunked View Post
                            I'm not really familiar with this technique. You peg the bead above the hook and essentially floss hook into the trout's mouth when they bite the bead? How far above the hook typically works best for hook sets?
                            I've been most successful pegging the bead about 1.5" above the hook. And yeah, depending on how quick your reaction time is, they eat it and you either hook them right in the corner of the jaw, the tip of the nose or under the chin. Clean, solid hookups.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dylar View Post
                              I've been most successful pegging the bead about 1.5" above the hook. And yeah, depending on how quick your reaction time is, they eat it and you either hook them right in the corner of the jaw, the tip of the nose or under the chin. Clean, solid hookups.
                              Seen a ton of videos from the Midwest where guys do this on conventional tackle, fly tackle as well as center pin tackle. Simple and cool concept and like Dylar said, good solid hookups! I recommend doing this on the Hooch with yellow beads, just sayin'!
                              #JBNavy

                              "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
                              -Chinese Proverb

                              ďAt sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.Ē
                              -Norman Maclean

                              "We are what we hunt."
                              -PH

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