I decided, after a summer of mostly spin fishing, that I’d get the fly rod back out and see if I remembered how to cast it. Since fishing for trout on inland streams is now a punishable offense, I went local and fished a stream that doesn’t hold trout. The Pheasant Branch drains a vast area of springs north of Middleton and Madison. At one time I suppose this creek had good conditions for trout, but with development and runoff the springs were damaged and the creek warmed up.
At any rate, there are some lovely stretches.
I fished a hopper pattern as an indicator with a pink scud tied on via 12-inches of tippet. I’d tried this sort of setup only once before and it worked nicely. The first time I even got two fish on at once. One on the floater and one on the scud!
The stream has some decent pools in the 3 to 5 foot deep range, and the biggest fish in the creek, at least the small section I fished appear to be chubs. As you can see below, this guy chose the hopper and ignored the scud.
I also caught a lot of panfish, whether they were bluegills, green sunfish, or hybrids, I’m not sure. But there were some really fat guys in there.
One thing to be careful about when using a floater/sinker combo is tangles. I ended up with this mess. I’m not sure what happened.
I recovered and replaced with scud with a bead-headed nymph and got a few more.
I decided to switch to a bigger fly to see if I could entice some bigger fish below a dam. I caught the fish below on a bead-headed streamer (a wooly bugger I guess), also tied on to the floating hopper.
I ended my outing with a gold and purple wooly bugger, and this time I tied it on to the hopper indicator with about 20-inches of line. I wanted to get the fly deeper to see if I could entice any big fish out of their hidey-holes. I got a few decent panfish… but they didn’t hit the wooly bugger, they hit the hopper up on top of the water.
It’s nice to be out fishing, even if I’m not catching trout. I hope to improve my fly fishing skills so that next spring I’m able to catch lots of trout via the fly.