Monday, May 7, 2012

Trout Opening Day. Red creek fly fishing. Episode I.

As trout season opening day was approaching (1st of may in Romania) many preparations had to be made just before the short two day trip that me and a good friend of mine have planned some good weeks before. The weather was unusually warm and the water was pretty low for this time of the year and the extended drought from the last year had a lot to do with this. We were facing different and unusual conditions and were very anxious to see if the fish were allready in shape after the heaviest winter in Europe in decades. Finished up my Steffen rod a few days before the trip and tied a few flies just the night before. Building fly rods can get tiring and time consuming and getting out fishing every once in a while is great. I could hardly wait for this trip to release some of the back hurts from building rods and the "rust" collected in the winter months. Elk hair caddis flies, Adams parachutes, Pheasant tail nymphs, Peeking caddises, Hare's ears and some very small muddlers were my go to flies for the first day of the season. In fact I use these flies just about anywhere I fish for trout throughout the season as base or searching patterns.

There is something magic in the colours of the trouts here and it's nowhere else to be found. It's very sad to see and to say that excessive logging is slowly killing these beautiful creeks and honestly I don't think my kids are going to see this river the way I used to see it when I was a kid. When I first came up here I was fourteen and had a two piece fiberglass spinning rod that I turned into a fly rod from my imagination, a five weight double tapered line and a very simple reel click and pawl graphite reel. I can remember the heavy noise that reel sounded like. I first came up here alone hiking through the woods for twenty kilometers after I've been hitchhiking and left at the base of the forest. The ranger that watched over the river back then was a nice guy and had let me put my tent in the backyard of his cabin.

Early in the morning we headed towards the river on an incredible hard dirt road drive through the forest to get to the high country at about 1200 m elevation and finally down the Red creek and other creeks and the bigger river that collects them. These creeks are all waters I fished a lot in my childhood and they are very close to my heart.

No matter what "fancy" location I get to fish in a year, I always grab my two weight rod and a click and pawl reel with a double tapered line and return here, to my home waters.

It's only a two-three hour drive from my town but you need a solid car to get here. To me, there really isn't a more beautiful place for fly fishing than this.
During my first visit here I have found out that the ranger was himself a fly fisherman and we became friends. He showed me a few flies and I was ready to go experience fly fishing only by myself in that first day. I remember that no one else was on the creek that day and I was so afraid of a bear encounter.
We go fishing together since then and we stay in the same cabin where I first met him. The old cabin is still there and touched only by time and nature. We still cook the old polenta with sheep cheese up here where everything tastes better, even a "bad" coffee first time in the morning before fishing. I really don't think there is anything better than this.


Pretty crazy and fun stuff of how I got into fly fishing at the age of fifteen. It's all great memories. And since that day I guess I can call myself a troutbum.

I couldn't believe how low the creek was just so early in the season. We took a hard breath being a little worried the both of us. No matter how hard the fishing is or how many trouts are caught this was still going to be good. The water was still cold and the trout were still weak and recovering from the harsh winter. Dry fly action was extremely low even though the water was perfect. I still managed to catch a few trouts on Adams parachutes and elk caddises. Nymphing was better but still slow and I had some mini streamers that I wanted to test. Had some hits on small muddlers and squirrel tails but this was still better fun than nymphing all day long.  My buddy had a longer graphite rod (8'6") with him and he fished high "sticked" nymphs ninety percent of the time. Despite my shorter Steffen rod (7'3") I succesfully "nymphed" with it.


Roll casting small nymphs and muddlers and is crazy fun with this rod and the most delicate dry fly presentations are at home even in the smallest water. It kinda' sets me back in time when I caught my first trout on my improvised fiberglass fly rod. It's an undescribable feeling but it just feels magic. This is the main reason that has made me go back to using fiberglass rods and into building fly rods out of fiberglass blanks. But I am more and more convinced that these glass trout rods make the game more fun than graphite. 
When I'm on the river I like to test all kind of flies and methods and never get tired of it, sometimes disregarding the most productive fishing method on that particular day. It's just how fishing is more fun for me.


We didn't catch anything bigger than ten inches but I remember some of the fifteen or twenty inch wild browns from the past. The vibrant colours of the fish are still there.

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