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Old 12-25-17, 12:03 AM   #1
Dylar
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Default 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 at 02:08 PM. Reason: restore images
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Old 12-25-17, 05:29 AM   #2
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Gorgeous wild fish there brother, I am sure it was well worth the drive.
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Old 12-25-17, 08:20 AM   #3
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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
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Old 12-25-17, 08:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?

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

Quote:
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 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 12-25-17, 12:10 PM   #5
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Great report enjoyed reading it!
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Old 12-25-17, 12:29 PM   #6
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Awesome


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Old 12-25-17, 02:13 PM   #7
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Great report, great fish!!!!! Merry Christmas indeed!
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Old 12-25-17, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
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.
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Last edited by GoutUnlimited; 12-25-17 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 12-25-17, 08:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
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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Old 12-25-17, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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?
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