Monday, April 12, 2010

Foolin' Fish on April Fools

"Now that I felt confident with my choice of fly, I flicked it back out into the current seam, only to have a slick 19 inch brown gobble up the synthetic treat".

I was lucky enough to have the afternoon off from work and with the weather being absolutely gorgeous out, the Missouri River was once again beckoning my return. I hit the frontage road off the Hardy Creek exit and made my way to Rhoda Island area. Only one other vehicle was parked off the road, I was excited for a bit of solitude. Upon exiting my car, I immediately spotted risers off the bank in nice little run. After world record speed of getting my waders on, my rod lined up and fly tied on, I slid into the river ever so quietly. After casting along the seam of the run a couple dozen times, I made a fly change from a Griffiths Gnat to a Parachute Adams. A few casts later and a nice rainbow took the fly. A strong fight and the rainbow in my net.

Now that I felt confident with my choice of fly, I flicked it back out into the current seam, only to have a slick 19 inch brown gobble up the synthetic treat. He fought hard, but quickly tired and was in my reach in no time. One of the skinnier browns I have seen, but I was very pleased with my catch.

I decided to move across the river and over to the area I had caught some nice fish a few weeks before. As I crept up to my familiar spot, I heard a guy telling me to take it slow as there were risers all along the tail out of the run. As I got closer, I recognized the voice as a buddy of mine, Jeremiah Watt. It's funny because I seem to run into this guy on the Mo' most randomly. Usually I see him floating by in his raft with his girlfriend Brooke on the oars. I was excited to actually get the chance to spend some time fishing with him. He gave me a fly of his choice to use and we began to hit the area hard. By this time, I finally became fully aware that fish were rising in every direction. Literally 360 degrees around me. I felt like a kid a candy store, picking and choosing the spots to cast to rising fish. I worked a run for a good 15 minutes, only to have the small, finicky trout tease me with their look and turns at my fly. I decided to work up the river to the tail out of my favorite run. Jeremiah had now hooked into a couple of nice looking trout.

A few moments later I had small rainbow on the end of my line. It was good to finally have one on after about an hour of casting dries to hundreds of risers. Here's where the foolin' part comes in. Now one might think that with hundreds of fish rising around me, which I have never witnessed on the Missouri River before, catching a handful or two of fish would be an easy task. Not the case. I tried about 4 or 5 different flies in hopes of fooling at least one more of these fish. These fish are so selective and key in only on the naturals and if your fly is not the right size and color... forget it! I came ill prepared. The fly that Jere' had given me would not work for the life of me, the Adams was the flavor of over an hour ago, the big and ugly were, well just too big and too ugly! I figured I needed a tiny ass size 22 midge pattern of sorts and I had nothing. The closest thing I had was a spent trico pattern which after a dozen casts yielded only frustrating rises inches to the left, right, front, and side of it. What's happening here?! Well, that's the world famous Missouri River laughing in my face is what that is! Of all days to get fooled by a bunch of picky trout, it just so happened to be on April Fools Day. Although the day wasn't a complete bust, I still feel I was taken for a fool. Maybe these fish here are a little more cunning than I give them credit for. Who knew Missouri River trout have a secret calender with a big red circle on April 1st that reads "Fool All Foolish Anglers".

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