After receiving some rain on Tuesday and a slow schedule at work for Wednesday, I decided to go out for a few hours yesterday and enjoy the warm weather. The colors in the mountains are still very nice and there where plenty of leaf-peepers on the roads in the park.
I decided to try the upper gorge of the WPLP, since I was hoping to get above the falling leaves. A large percentage of the leaves have fallen, although it'll still be a week or two before they're all on the ground, it appears. For the most part, falling leaves were not the problem, but I wonder how the decomposing sub-surface leaves affect the trout (anyone have an opinion?). The water temp hovered between 49 and 51 for the four hours I fished. I started above the tunnel on WPLP and fished up onto Road Prong, to the third bridge.
A big thanks to the folks at LRO for helping get my TFO rod fixed (missing section and all)!! It had arrived at LRO the night before and I decided to swap out my old (and cut up) fly line for a new GPX 3wt (with the willow/optic green combination). While it doesn't shoot quite as well as a 4wt on my TFO, it works quite nicely and I think I'm really going to enjoy it (once I get better at casting...). I also purchased a furled leader and am going to give it a try.
I managed to catch half a dozen fish. Only one Rainbow (near 8") and the rest were Brookies. The fishing appeared to get better as the day wore on and a switch to a #18 EHC seemed to help on Road Prong. There were some very small whiteish bugs hatching and the larger brookies were cruising back and forth sipping bugs off the surface.
The most satisfying aspect of the day occurred near the end as I made it up to the third bridge on Road Prong. I managed to creep up to the pool that runs up to, and under the bridge, without spooking two Brookies that were actively cruising and feeding in the pool. I sat down and just watched them for about 15 minutes. Several folks walked past on the bridge and asked what I was doing (and probably thought I was nuts) before I finally decided to fish. One of the fish had worked his way into a pocket between two exposed rocks that was facing downstream and the current was swirling around a rock and delivering food to him going back upstream. It was at that point I switched from a #14 EHC to the #18 and cast above him in the main stream and mended the line and fly back toward the swirling pocket water, it caught the proper current and slowly backed up toward him in his holding spot. After what seemed like 5 minutes (I'm sure it was only 30 seconds or less) I had the fly right in front of him. He paused for a second and then slurped it down. I set the hook and brought him to hand. He had gorgeous coloring. After releasing him I tried for the second one and caught him two casts later. I caught a few more after those two, but they were the most gratifying. I keep thinking I'll be done fishing until the spring...maybe not...after all, the mountains did get another 1.5" of rain last night...
Road Prong Brookie
A skinny WPLP Brookie
The only Rainbow of the Day