For those of you who haven’t been up to the San Gabriel River in a while. The north Fork Road has been closed at the first gate for a couple of years, due to sections of the road being washing out during the rainy season.
Just a couple of months ago the first couple few gates were opened, exposing us to about 2-3 miles of Trout water that has not been fishing for sometime. This is both a great opportunity and a great responsibility. What I mean is that it’s going to introduce Fly Fishermen to fish that have never been caught, but we have the responsibility to protect these fish and be responsible fishermen!
My day on this stretch of the SGR started off slow with a lot of scouting and not alot of fishing. Pushing back reeds and bushes, and walking up to the banks of the river crouched over like a 90 year old man out for a stroll in the park.
After much watching, it was time to start doing.
I picked out a size 18 Parachute Adams with a dropper Prince Nymph about 12 inches off. First cast and first missed fish. So I pulled my fly in, dried it of,f sharpened the hook (you can never be too sure), and cast my it back out in the riffle.
Another strike and another miss. This went on for about 20 casts, and I started to think to myself, “were these fish really to small to get hooked on a size 18″? They sure seemed to be hitting it hard enough to stay on. So I took off the dropper, and again a couple of casts and a couple of misses. Now I was started to get a little ticked.
It was at that moment that I realized that these were young naive fish that had never seen a fly, and I was probably trying to set the hook a little to fast for the way they were launching. I was just pulling it right out of their little mouths.
So I dried off my fly, put on a little more flotant, and walked up to the next hole on the run. Cast out into the riffle and hit (Sean wait to set the hook just a second) and I was on to my first fish. That little guy fought like a Smallmouth Bass in the Lower Kern River. Back and forth, and wow he was even putting a little bend in my 5 weight Okuma Guide Rod. Not bad for a little bitty Trout, and I could tell that this was going to be one good stretch of River.
I must have walking up about 1 1/2 miles on that stretch pulling at least a couple of fish out of every hole along the way. What beautiful colors, and for a couple of hours it was like the only purpose I had in life was to catch every last fish that I could. Just marveling at their amazing parr marks along the way.
Unfortunately even the best of days can be ruined in an instant, and that was just what happended as I peaked over the ridge on my way back to the car.
TRASH everywhere! you’ve got to be kidding me this place had barely been opened and already people were trashing it. So I grabbed a trash bag out of the car and filled it up until it was just about over flowing.
That is the exact reason why I’m always mentioning that we have to be good stewards of this beautiful resource, because some day I would love the honor of being able to take my Grand kids here to catch fish out of the same river that I grew up on.
Come on guys, if not us then WHO?
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