With the end of the trout season in sight my days on the trout section of the stream
where numbered and the urge to go fishing was thus great.
The problem I faced was that the last couple of days the rains had poured continuously.
I watched the river gage daily as it went up nearly vertically = flooding.
With two special permits left for the mill pool the Saturday fell into the water as the
stream had its peak flow.
On Sunday the waters receded but it was still way too high for decent fishing, I went
anyway as it was my last chance of the year.
The day started with rain and well it actually never stopped, light rain ... heavier rain ... just rain.
All that rain was only good for the mushrooms which where popping up everywhere.
The migration of the geese was still at full force as I spotted a whole army of them through the canopy
of the forest.
I paused at one of the feeder streams to see how the water looked but the stream in question flowed
mostly through the forest from the nearby hill so it never carried much silt as it bypassed agricultural land.
When I hit the first bridge over the main stream the situation was obvious, brown soup.
In stark contrast, good vs bad
I entered the mill property rather late in the morning and as it was such a muddy mess I did not
even bother to put on my wading gear.
Before I went fishing I first delivered a Dutch treat to the inhabitants of the mill namely a pack of
syrup waffles, always a success
Off course I was invited in and in no time I was drinking an Irish coffee.
Eventually I headed to the pool to try and catch at least one fish.
Hopes where slightly raised as I could still see the bottom of the shallow sandbar in the pool so
some minimal visibility was present.
I tried my luck at one of the trees bordering the pool as I spotted fish among the exposed roots
at previous occasions.
A small pheasant tail nymph size 16 was launched and to my surprise it immediately raised the interest
of the fish.
In short succession I landed four roach which had eluded me when the mill pool boasted clearer water.
After a short time the rain became heavy.
As it was past noon it seemed like a good idea to get lunch at the pub first and get into waders later
to make most of the day.
During the previous weekend the low temperatures had kept me from going fishing and so I did something
productive instead namely tying new flies.
After lunch I would try those flies out in the deeper pools behind the mill as I still thought I could
do some business at the stream despite the poor conditions.
The main pattern I wanted to try was a red midge tied on a red Skalka Czech nymph hook.
Red tying thread, tinsel and red dubbing where the main ingredients of this fly.
A tungsten bead would get the fly quickly down and a coat of bug bond would make the fly durable.
Icing on the cake was the red hook, purely for optics.
To my surprise the nymph did pretty well, at the first pool it was hit after hit.
At first I thought this fly would mainly appeal to trout but the Roach and Dace in the pool had
no problem with this fly and where eagerly hitting it.
The pools further downstream yielded mixed results.
I guess at some spots the faster flows prevented the fly from getting to the proper depth.
Knowing the many snags at some spots I did not wanted to extend the leader as I could
not see the underwater hazards under these conditions.
At one of the pools where I knew the bottom was relatively clean I fished with a longer
leader and had results again.
One decent Trout got off but the Dace and Roach stuck.
When I exhausted the last pool I went back to the mill as the light was slowly fading.
I still wanted to catch one of the Yellow perch at the mill or a trout on a streamer but despite
using a sinking line to probe the depths and combat the increased current I received no bites.
I switched back to nymph fishing and during a short break in the rain I even spotted some rising fish
although this was only of short duration.
I also noticed a giant sedge in the grass which I never knew existed at the stream, at first I
thought it was a stone fly since it was so large.
Eventually the rain and cold got to me as I was walking around in my el cheapo
Hardy featherweight waders which I once had bought as a backup in case the proper ones had problems.
These waders where so thin that they had the insulation properties of a plastic bag ... none.
Despite the less than favorable conditions I had done pretty well and ended the trout season
with a trout caught and released.
I took a last look at the mill pool, said goodbye to the inhabitants of the mill and called it a day.
Next year we will try again.