Sunday, April 30, 2017

Black River Fish Report

Forest road 49 doesn't make much of impression at first sight. The path here in the picture runs for about half a mile back to a small parking area where a trailhead exists for the fishing trail. The road in place is indeed a logging road. High clearance is required in spots.

 Halfway to the trailhead, you pass this gated entry which the logging has made superfluous.

"Keep it wild. Walk in." Or, drive right around over there ...  There is a pathway leading to the Blue Lakes from this junction.

A tail goes from the parking area for a half mile to the river proper. The trail then turns sharply and follows a bluff over the Black River.

You see the river below you as you hike along looking for game trails or those paths created by anglers here before you.

The river above is the reward when crawling down the game trails. The far bank is a private club -- the Blue Lakes Club -- which has cleared the forest for shooting alleys in their deer harvest.

These bloomed in the underbrush. The blooms are roughly the size of a dime.

These lived in the river.  The big fish was near 14" but I dropped camera and fish on the photography effort. Luckily, the camera is waterproof. The fish above came out of the same hole and was 11". Nice brookie.

Most of the eleven I landed were more like this:

Overall, it was a fantastic opener. Most of the fish came during a two hour period when the Hendricksons actually hatched. I was shocked. These fish above came on a partridge and yellow.

I started with this fly:

A purple and snipe.  Some smaller fish came to hand but the real action didn't start until the Hendricksons showed up. Most of the brook trout were over six inches but under nine.

I caught a pair of the five-inch variety near my campsite on Friday evening. I was glad to see the larger fish on Saturday because while I had a three weight outfit with me, the breeze didn't allow for its use.

This rod was perfect for rolling the soft hackles across-and-up and managing the drifts on downstream work across-and-down.

Winston 8' bIIIx in #4. That's a Douglas Argus reel and a Wulff TT line in #4. The outfit was perfect for the Black. It's a roll cast machine that is long enough to manage line when fishing in close quarters. A large rod would be a burden and something smaller might not yield the roll casts necessary to shoot line under obstacles.

Great opener. Happy season. My weather ran into the mid-50's with a bit of overcast. There was a modest breeze but nothing that wasn't manageable with a four weight. I had a great camp and while it did freeze on Friday night, the day's warmth still allowed for a decent late-afternoon hatch that was a delight to see.

 A view down the river. The bottom was almost all cobble. Deep holes stopped short of five feet. Most ran to three and the stream edges allowed easy passage. Looking under the rocks, I can see the stream is filled with mayflies throughout the season.
Tinned clams and Two Hearted Ale. Opening day late lunch. Thanks, Mobes.


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