While I love chasing wild trout in small streams (it’s potentially second in line only to surf fishing), I’ve also more recently started looking for them in remote ponds again. I used to do this by foot a lot more when I was younger and had easier access; but as time has gone on, and I’ve moved away from the places they thrive, it’s gotten harder to justify the investment in time and gas money. However, in the last couple years I’ve also started to get into using a backpacking pack and a float tube to reach hard to fish waters, which makes the fishing trip as much an excursion in hiking and “flippering” as it is about fishing. This makes it a lot more interesting to me, and makes the time investment far more palatable.
Last year in Vermont I spent about eight hours hiking into a remote pond, fishing it from the float tube (and shore), and then hiking out again. The day I had chosen just happened to be a foggy and drizzly day. This m
ay seem like a negative to some of you reading this, but I actually was excited to go out into the dreary weather. Again, given it was July, I assumed not having the blazing sun overhead would help my chances of catching some fish without resorting to dredging the bottom with sinking line and streamers.
And, oh, was I ever right.
That day I had as many fish as I could possible want to catch- I know I tallied at least 20, but if I had focused, I surely could have had 50. The brookies- all darkly colored, thick, and savage- were being so aggressive that as I “flippered” from spot to spot, trying to take photos in the fog, I would leave my wet fly or dry fly in the water, and they would hit it as it was stupidly trolled across the surface. There was a moment when I was sitting in my tube messing with my camera, with my fly resting almost directly on my flipper at the surface. I’m not sure if I twitched it or if it was sitting totally still, but a (very nicely sized) brookie slammed the fly and then subsequently jumped again trying to get itself unhooked. I wasn’t even holding my rod at the time.
The whole time I fished, I never saw, heard, or sensed another human presence.
If you’re interested in learning more, you’re going to have to wait and check out my article that will be published in the November edition of On The Water.