Could not stand it. It was too nice out. I packed up my gear and headed to the Rush River. Arrived around 10AM and put in a long hike. Today I wanted to find deep to medium deep slow water. I also wanted to see what my old favorite runs and pools looked like since I had not seen them since last year. Normally the exploration of all of my old haunts takes place in March but if mid February will allow, I’ll take it. When I arrived, after 25 minute of hiking, heads were up. Midges were on the water. After watching for a while I rigged and casted. The fish cooperated on both midge pupa(zebra) and dry(stillborn) patterns. Water temps were at 41 degrees. The fish tended to be stacked in this particular water, slow and medium depth. I found no fish in fast plunges and rocky high gradient water. When I returned to the truck, I realized where they all were. The Bridge Pool! There were a couple thousand in there and of course they spooked when I stood over them. It was amazing. My guess is that the majority of the trout in this stretch of water are still podded up in this deep water and are mostly safe from all predation. The location of these fish would have made it near impossible to take them on rod and reel.
The first outing for my new fly rod. Might be the sweetest yet for both long dry casting and deep nymphing and high sticking for our waters. Time will tell, but this will probably turn out to be my favorite. More later. Looks like the flows held today. Get out there and fish tomorrow, might be 12″of snow right around the corner.