What a strange thing it is to say that ! It has been ….. well forever since I took a day and spent it strictly in pursuit of the little fish of the fountains . There was a time , long ago , when that was my favorite thing to do and when I left them for the river and her browns my thought was that I would not be long away but the brown sipping fish and the big hatches of the Elk quickly all but erased any memory of the days spent on the little freestone trickles until I found myself almost in denial of having ever visited them …
Enter a big thunderstorm and the blown river that resulted , add in a visit from a couple of my best fishing buddies who simply couldn’t get up this year until the night of the storm and didn’t like the prospect of fishing streamers in brown murky water and you have the recipe for the return to my roots .
And so it was that I found myself stringing up my rod on the banks of a jewel of a pond on the property that we refer to around here as “The Point ” . Truth be told I was in no hurry to take part in the actual fishing though I was enjoying watching my friends quickly rigging then almost running for the banks and just as quickly casting and hooking a couple little 8″ brookies . I say little because on the Elk you usually hear an 8″ fish referred to as a “little bastard” with the context being something like “I can’t keep these little bastards off the fly long enough to get at a decent fish” ….. This wasn’t the Elk though and I soon came to remember that a true 8″ native was more properly referred to as a “good one” . Eventually I did get around to actually fishing and several casts into the adventure I was rewarded with a “little bastard” of a brookie his length being around 4 or 5″s . I had to admit though it was a good looking little bastard at that ! In fact it was stunning . This started a run of stunning little bastards that was to prove so hard to break that I soon found myself uttering the same phrase one hears about 8″ers on the Elk …..
Had I stopped at this point it may have been a long time before I would have considered leaving the river for the trickle fish again ! Fortunately though my friends expressed a desire to check out one of the small freestone streams on the property and as I am a fan of moving water I was glad to get off the pond and take them there . This is where it got a bit more interesting …..
The 1st cast on the 1st run produced a nice one (7″) . This was followed by a good one (8″) , another nice one , a bunch that were borderline nice ones (6″s or so ) and of course a lot of little bastards (see description above) but as we worked our way upstream there were definitely enough nice and good ones to keep my attention . We had maybe covered 1/2 mile when I 1st realized I was getting excited by the prospect of fishing a little run that justhad to hold a couple of nice ones ! It did . Within another 1/2 mile I was flat out enjoying myself ! There I said it out loud . I was enjoying chasing brook trout !
I left the stream having promised both myself and the little fish that this time I would make a real attempt to visit them occasionally ….. When I got back down to the shop they asked me where I had been and without a bit of shame I replied “brookie fishing ” . You could have heard a pin drop …..