Re: Where are the big fish?
Good question. *If we knew the answer to that one, people would be watching us on those Fly Fishing shows instead of others.
I've fished the park for 8 years now and have managed only 2 fish in the 17-18" range. *Quite a few more have been 12-15". *One thing I've noticed, about 80% of those larger ones have been either during rain or shortly after a good shower. *Really heavy downpours that last a long time tend to caution me back to the truck to find a different area. *Divide the stream into 2-3 foot sections between the banks. *Try to work your way from bank to bank running your line in each section a few times without 'wearing out' a section. *Usually you will find them in the swift current, but they will suprise you and hold in other places. *Most often I will fish downstream during these conditions. *Most important rule -- *FEED LINE QUICKLY. *Don't let your fly get 30 yds downstream before you re-cast. *Maintain a manageable length of line and you will be fine. *Keep the line as tight as possible without altering your drift and be ready. *Some hits are subtle and some are like a freight train.
Let me add to this the dangers of fishing when the water is up. *It can take you out of your stance before you have time to blink. *Carry a wading staff and USE IT. *I swallowed my pride and bought one a few weeks ago and I'm stupid for not getting one sooner. *LRO has some really good ones for around 60 bucks. *Small price to pay to avoid a yard sale.
As far as where to go to find them, I don't want to sound smug when I say this but it's true, you'll find them in the water. *They could be anywhere as long as there is some deeper water for them to hide in and stay cool.
May you fish more than you wish for.