Paradise Springs

This gin clear spring pond is the first place I stalked trout with a fly (only five months ago). Unfortunately, it remains the only place where I’ve actually caught one.

Spring house in the mist, late July.

Spring house in the mist, late July.

It took five trips to this pond to elicit a strike. Six trips until I actually caught one.

My first ever trout. Got him on a beadhead pheasant tail.

My first ever trout. Got him on a beadhead pheasant tail.

Since then I have learned a lot about the trout in this pond. My perseverance has been rewarded, as I catch a couple almost every time I make the trip. Although many fly fishers warn that this pond can be tough, I’ve found it to be rather forgiving to poor-casting beginners like me.

Had a lot of success from here in early spring.

Had a lot of success from here in early spring.

Because there is no current, the trout have to wander about in order to feed. If I spook all trout in a 10 foot radius with a bad cast, a new, unspooked trout will be along in short order.

The water here is so clear, it sometimes looks like it’s not even there. It’s great for observing the trout, but that also means they can observe you and your fly. These trout get a really good look at everything they eat, meaning that your fly has to match what they are eating and match it well. I’ve seen them swim right up to a fly and stare at it for a long while before deciding against it.

The pond is a scenic little gem.

The pond is a scenic little gem.

I had a lot of success in late spring and early summer suspending a beadhead pheasant tail near the bottom with a strike indicator. Midge patterns also work well suspended in the same way.

A gnat dry fly can look like a couple of midges stuck in the soup at the top of the water, and it works well when they are rising.

This one fell for a drowned gnat pattern.

This one fell for a drowned gnat pattern.

Lately, I’ve only had success with something I call a drowned gnat. It resembles the gnats that plague the area in summer, but it has a tiny beadhead which lets it sink slowly.

In summer, the trout far more wary than they were in spring. I assume this is because the pond is stocked in spring with farm raised trout that don’t know any better. By August, they know what to avoid.

I’ve had to abandon my strike indicator and really work on camouflaging my line behind floating weeds and staying out of view. I’ve also thrown them a few curveballs and had some luck.

Caught on a slow-falling plastic grub.

Caught on a slow-falling plastic grub.

An unweighted plastic grub on a simple worm hook will gracefully sink while slowly tumbling. It almost always elicits a strike, if only out of curiosity.

The pond swings between challenging and forgiving, but it’s becoming my “go to” water because of its many gifts. The peaceful, unspoiled surroundings take the sting out of a tough day fishing. More importantly, it’s a place where good fly selection and excellent selection is rewarded. That makes it all worthwhile.

Even observing the fish is fun when the backdrop looks like this.

Even observing the fish is fun when the backdrop looks like this.

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