The positive outlook on a dry summer is not having to mow your lawn! The downside is absolutely minimal flow in our creeks and rivers. I hadn't seen mentionable precipitation in over a month. My lawn is crispy, and the creeks are in pretty sad shape. I've gotten out to visit some of my favorite waters and explore a few new spots where water temperatures remain low, but fishing for trout around here just seems cruel at this point. To drive the point home, a week ago I visited a headwater stream I new would be downright cold. Temps were perfect, but a nice transitional riff between two good pools that is normally about shin deep was nothing but muddy creek bed stamped with coyote tracks. It's bad. But, with adversity comes opportunity. I decided to pack up the trout wagon and hit the road on down to Dixie!
|Time to Rain Dance|
The next day full of fishing was a blast. We were primarily targeting brook trout, but fishing to brown trout this size in this rough of water was a pretty unique experience. Typically these plunge-y rivulets are home to brook trout and rainbows with brown trout being sparsely mixed in. The buttery trout were the most active this day, but that was fine by me.
|Photo by Bill D.|
After a full day of traversing slick boulders and frigid water in the heat from daylight to dark, an ice cold IPA slid like never before. I was beat and ready to call it a day. Poor me, I had to get up at daylight and fish a few more hours before heading back North.
Traveling across the east in search of Brook Trout, I've noticed the ridgelines covered in dense deciduous forest intertwined with lush pastures and grassland perfectly reflect the vermiculations on the backs of our native fish. By seeing so much new water, I've really had my eyes opened to all the different obstacles we impose on these fish. So far, I've fished brook trout populations negatively affected by acid precipitation, acid mine drainage, invasive fish species, didymo, habitat destruction, drought, over-harvest, increased temperatures, logging, and erosion, yet they're still there in spite of our disrespect. On my way home driving the thistle and chicory choked corridors, I dreamed about which state would be the next target for catching a brookie. Time will tell.
|Green = Complete Red = Incomplete Yellow = bonus non-native brook trout caught|