Today was supposed to be a beautiful sunny day with highs in the mid to upper 60s. I wasn't exactly ecstatic when I awoke to find clouds, wind and cold greeting me. I had really been wanting to head out to a southern Idaho reservoir to test out my new rod holder, but I just didn't feel up to floating around in 45 degree water with air temps about the same. I contemplated forgetting about fishing entirely, but sadly this was supposed to be the best day of the week weather wise. I mulled it over for a time and finally settled on hunting for early smallmouth at The Narrows. The weather report showed calm conditions up that way, but the foulness apparently followed me. At least the new Damien Jurado album was a joy to listen to as I passed through the countryside. The road was a little rough and was littered with rocks, but I took it easy and arrived at my favorite smallie haunt before long. I rigged up my new medium spinning rod with a spider jig, and my medium light with a small hot pink x-rap. I fished the run with nothing but moss to show for it, so I thought I would try a few casts into the fast water below the pool. I worked the x-rap quickly through the current and something quickly hammered it. It looked a bit more elongated than a smallie and looked brownish. It quickly dove below a rock and sought shelter, but I soon coaxed it out. It shot downstream into the rapids and before I could catch up to it, it was gone. I'm pretty sure it was either a brown trout or a walleye, but I guess I'll never know. I was pretty bummed. I worked my way downstream and worked some quiet spots on the opposite bank with no action. I thought it wouldn't hurt to toss the jig to the spot where I'd hooked up before on the jerk bait, and my thoughts were right. After a couple of twitches, something nabbed the grub. The brown immediately went airborne several times but quieted down before long. He was a rather greedy little nugget.
At least I wasn't going to get skunked today, and at least I finally caught something on my new rod other than a carp. I fished back in the slack water where I started, and even tried throwing a spinner for a bit, but it was fruitless. I drove upstream a short way and noticed some extremely deep runs that I had never noticed before due to high water. I immediately spotted a bloated Mr. Bungle holding against the bank. He didn't want to play unfortunately, and neither did anything else. I switched to a Gulp! Minnow on a jig head and still nothing. I only had about an hour left, so I thought I'd find some trouty water and break out the fly rod. About a mile upstream I found some nice looking pocketwater and gave it a try. There were a lot of tricky currents, and careful fly placement and line control were imperative. Unfortunately the wind was howling and essentially prevented this. I was down to the wire on time now, so I grabbed a spinning rod and began chucking the x-rap into some slower water below the pocket water area. About midstream a fat little fish shot up from the depths and pounded my lure. Unfortunately I didn't hook up, but a couple of jerks later a larger fish grabbed it, and quickly became unhooked. That was some smallmouthish behavior, so I was pretty excited. I swung my lure through the current once more and got a solid hookup. I was surprised to find something smooth and spotted on the end of my line.
I continued swinging my lure across current, much like you would a streamer, and for the next few minutes it was fast action. You'd think that with two sharp treble hooks I'd hook up with every fish that took a pass at it, but I only landed two more rainbows out of maybe ten or twelve strikes. Still, it was better than nothing, and it made me very curious about trying streamers here in the future. I had maybe ten minutes before I needed to leave for work, and wouldn't you know it, the sun popped out and that beautiful day finally showed up. I did a quick run and gun stroll upstream to some large boulders that were the start of the pocket water stretch. I got a follow, and a few casts later another bow shot out from beneath a boulder and slammed the x-rap. He pulled loose after a few flips, and that was that. It was a weird day. I can't tell you the last time I intentionally tried to catch trout on a spinning rod. I feel a little guilty, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I must say that I missed the feeling of something clobbering a jerk bait, even if it was the wrong species. As I write this a few days later, it's below freezing and there's snow on the ground. It might be a little while before a bass finds it's way onto the end of my line.
Final Tally: 1 Brown Trout, 3 Rainbow Trout
Year Tally: 184 Fish