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A wild brown trout plucked from the Wachocastinook on March 30. These fish are extremely skittish, hard to catch, and must be returned to the water, unharmed, as soon as possible. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

At least it isn’t snowing (for now)

Tangled Lines

The problem: It keeps raining.

The other problem: The nights are still chilly.

Wachocastinook Brook (aka Riga Brook) in Salisbury used to be stocked with brown trout in its lower reaches. The descendants of those fish are still around, and each year the line of brown/brookie demarcation gets pushed just a little bit farther upstream.

(Normally I do not identify little blue lines that have wild trout. But Wachocastinook is listed in guide books and in the state’s fishing regulations. It is a Class I wild trout management area, which means no-kill, single barbless hook, artificials only. This is not the place to go if you want something for the frying pan.)

The browns are extremely difficult to catch. Especially when the water flow is on the high side, and the cold side. Two or three sunny days in the mid-60s will straighten that out.

As the angler creeps upstream toward the start of the ravine proper, the stream gets narrower and the creepitatiousness factor increases.

Here’s a handy rule of thumb: When looking upstream from the stone bridge,  if the plunge pools are full of white water, the fishing is going to be tough. You’ll have to look for the soft water around boulders and for the very occasional runs where things open up a bit for 20 or 30 yards (if that — sometimes it’s more like 20 or 30 feet).

On Sunday, March 28, I was in brown territory. Using a green perdigon nymph, I managed something very unusual: I plucked three browns from the same run within a half hour period.

The fly du jour was a perdigon nymph (all the rage in Euro-nymphing circles). Mine was green, and fairly hefty at size 14.

I’ve been fishing them on a short (12 inch) fluoro dropper off a biggish (size 10) Stimulator. As far as rods go, I’ve been using short fiberglass rods (6 ½ feet) and 4 weight double taper lines. 

And a number of different Tenkara (fixed-line) rods, which are typically longer than fly rods. 

Thus far the added reach and improved drift of the latter hasn’t mattered much, as I am fishing with what amounts to a bobber. 

I got about two and a half hours a couple days later before it started to — you guessed it — rain. Managed one brown, on that same green nymph. I wish I could remember where I got it. 

The stocking trucks got to the Blackberry on March 31, so if you want that something for the frying pan, that’s the place to go.

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