Those beautiful flies from Finland that Opax was kind enough to tie for me did not produce an American trout yesterday, but it was not for lack of trying. The flies look great in the water and I'm supremely confident that I will be taking a photo of one in a trout's mouth soon. Yesterday's fishing, however, was slow going.
It was not a day without highlights, however. My friend Matt and I hiked a good distance along this stream in Maryland and tried a lot of different flies and approaches. It was a couple hours before we even SAW a trout. At the farthest point in our excursion, Matt was crouching along the water's edge, trying to flip a fly between pretty intense brush (brush that caused us problems all day) and was startled by a fox-colored cat that snuck up on him.
Well we spent the next hour or so, walking and fishing, and that cat shadowed us the entire time. He was really cool, and periodically would go to the water's edge and seemingly point out fish for us. Of course, he was no better at finding fish than we were, but we enjoyed his company until we had to cross the stream and left him on the other side.
Having just about given up on the day, following the stream back to the cars, we noticed what looked like little fish feeding on the surface -- pretty unusual for December, at least in my limited experience. The trout we had seen all day were stuck to the bottom and not interested in moving much. So we tried some tiny dries and pretty soon I enticed this behemoth. The skunk averted with the cars in sight. We worked hard for fish yesterday, fighting briars and bushes and tangles and snags and finnecky fish, but at least we got this little beauty to show for it. And then there's our feline friend, who I hope to see again next time. Opax, I'll get that fish for you soon!