My cell phone remembered day light savings, while I did not. Waking to the alarm, I realized this by looking at the archaic, non-internet connected clock on my stove. I decided to take my time as the others were likely wanting to sleep in. I was wrong. Greg called at 7 asking where I was and informing of a breakfast he'd prepared. What a sweet heart. Also expecting my arrival at this point was Brown Beard. Calling me on my way to Greg's, he requested my locale. "Fuck! I would've fuckin' slept in if I fuckin...[etc.]" I could tell by Brown's tone that we as especially excited to go fishing and probably wouldn't have a second breakfast waiting for me.
With the TUV loaded up with my cohorts and our gear, we turned up the bluegrass and flatfooted to the valleys in the west.
We arrived at Trapper's and were greeted by his two black labs and a round of screw drivers. It was still breakfast time, after all. After some chit chat and watching the temperature tick up a few degrees, we headed to our first destination, a known wintering hole.
It was Brown Beard's first day out for the season so we gave him first shot at the pool. I knew the spot well, so while Greg and Trap hung out on the bank, I led Beard to the target.
He casted. And casted and casted. He used a Thing-a-ma-bobber indicator and a fly I had tied the year previous, a red crystal bugger. Between the indicator being set only a few feet back from the fly and perhaps my red bugger's splashy entrance into the water, he could not find a bite.
After a substantial effort, he went to change flies and I took some shots with the same small leechy streamer I'd been using the past few trips. This proved to be a better formula and I started pulling in fish, about a half dozen before turning the hole back over to Beard who'd been politely netting with his sweet new Brodin net. Trap recommended we move upstream, but Mr Brown was now very determined to eek some more fish from this spot. We left him there and moved on.
This next hole was basically the end of the line for this spot. Not much to it, except for the fact that it's loaded, no STACKED with beautiful bright native brook trout.
We found him already heading back to the road. He had caught one lovely purple brook trout and was ready to go.
We drove up and over the next ridge into a tiny hamlet called Springville. Naturally, it has a trout stream running though it that was packed with trout. We drove over the low culvert of a bridge and made some casts into pools upstream and downstream. I managed one trout down stream while Brown Beard struggled upstream.
Driving over the tiny bridge we'd be fishing from was probably not the brightest idea. We didn't do well here and decided it was time for lunch.
In another valley or two away, we entered an enchanted land populated by gnomes. They had built a remote outpost where the weary traveller could get a quality meal and sip fine beers while looking out over a trout stream. The industrious gnomes had constructed a spring pond inside of which they kept enormous rainbow trout which you could feed. It was indeed a magical place.
We drank the finest ales and gorged on homemade gnomish pizza. With the sun beginning to dive into the western sky, no longer could I resist the quasi Norwegian landscape outside. Trap and Beard stayed behind to chat with the gnomes and hobbits while Greg and I hiked down to the stream below.
Though the weather had been warming, an average of three feet of snow remained on the ground. Movement had to be calculated and wandering minimized. Once at the creek, I liked what I saw. Older habitat improvement (10 years old, according to Trapper) was evident. Classic riffle, run and pool sequences lay before me and fish were rising.
Still throwing my trusty leech, I had a fish on quickly. A special fish. Not a large fish, but a trout that had me guessing until the last second whether it was a brook or a brown. It was both. It was a TIGER!
It was my second ever tiger trout in 3 years of trout fishing. The Norse magic was indeed strong in these waters! I suspect it may also had been the power of having my large Norwegian friend Greg with me.
Whatever the case may be, my luck continued with many chunky browns to hand, including fish in the 16 inch range.
The sun sank, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. My casting arm started to lose timing. The Norse gods have decided I've had enough. We trudged though the snow back to the gnomish establishment and found Brown Bread and Trapper where we had left them. We stayed for a while sharing our tales of conquering many trout. I'd apparently become entertainment for a small crowd of gnomes on the deck and they were disappointed that I didn't hold the trout above my head as this is the gnomish way.