Fly Fishing plays alot of roles in my life. At times it’s my nemesis, other times my friend, sometimes my hobby, and even an addiction. There is never a dull moment. Just when you think that you have gotten skunked for the last time and you are going to put that gear away never to touch it again. A day like this past Saturday comes around!
I was having trouble falling asleep Friday night. My faith and will amongst many other things have recently been tried and tested to extreme measures. So here it was 4:00 am and I was wide awake after only getting about 4 hours of sleep. So, I started to gather my Fly Fishing Gear and made up my mind that the San Gabriel River would be my destination. After about an hour of cleaning out my fly boxes and a short Trout Unlimited video, I could not take sitting around anymore and off I went.
I arrived at the San Gabriel at about 5:45 am after a quick stop for a Mc Donalds ice coffee. The sun was coming up over the ridge and the birds were in beautiful harmony. I drove down to East Fork when all of the sudden 3 Coyote pups were running in front of car scared beyond measure and not knowing which way to turn.
After this got my adrenaline pumping and about 4 more coyotes running across the road. I was ready to step into the brisk air and let my fly hit the water. I tied on a Stimulator with a copper John Dropper and away I went. I hit the first pool and with the first cast, first Rainbow caught. I fished that hole for about 15 minutes and was pleasantly surprised to pull out about 15 more fish. Moving on I fished a few more pools with a few more caught and it was time to drive over to the North Fork.
I arrived at the North Fork with not another sole in sight (which if you have been there this time of year is amazing). The fish seemed to be a little bigger and hit with more reckless abandon than normal. All in all, quite a few more fish caught and this was turning out to be quite an amazing day. As the day started to heat up the hatches and the terrestrials started coming out, and so did all of the people wanting to walk there dogs right into my fishing hole. That was my que to head over to the West Fork and hike back away from the crazies.
The West Fork was beautiful as always, and I was astonished to see fish rising so close to the entrance of the trail. Since the DFG hasstopped stocking the stream, the wild fish seem to have come out in full force and what a blessing that is. I made it back a mile of so and began to wade into the cold stream with my Teva Sandals enjoying the water as it helped to take some of the heat off. I could not believe how many fish I hooked, and how many I missed for that matter. I literally lost count after catching my 50th fish of the day. Days like that just don’t come around that often especially in Southern California, and so what did I do? I decided to go for it all and tied on a giant size 10 Stimulator just to see what was really in that water, and if I could get it to rise.
Oh my, and rise it did! With a giant plash a huge Wild Bow came ripping out of the water and the fight was on. I was using my little Eagle Claw 3 Weight which feels more like a 0 weight and this fish was testing it hard. Just when I though I had it landed the fish, back into the current it went. When it was all over the fish was about 14-15 inches and the girth on it made it the biggest Wild Rainbow TroutI had ever caught on the San Gabriel River!
So don’t ever quit this beautiful sport, because “You never know when that skunk will turn into one amazing fish”!