No steelheading for me this week, so my consolation was a few hours on the Farmington. The upper TMA was running just over 500cfs, water 38 degrees, nice and clear. Despite air temperatures in the 40s, it was a cold, grey, and raw day with occasional mists and showers. (I did manage the entire session without gloves. I gave myself a gold star for that.) A few midges and some stray BWOs, but nothing rising to them. That was OK. I was committed to the subsurface cause.
Spot A was a blank on streamers. Well, not quite. I had a few bumps and came away with another scale souvenir on my hook point. Off to Spot B, another blank, although I did it proper by skunking on both nymph and streamer. Lost a few flies into the bargain. By now, I had crossed paths with four other anglers, and no one reported having any luck.
Started nymphing at Spot C, and that was also a blank. But, I had the whole place to myself. How pleasant to be able to walk the pool and fish at will. Switched back to streamers, and a few minutes later, bump, pause, thump. Not big, but a lovely jewel of a wild brown to send my spirits soaring.
All I wanted for Christmas today was a bent rod.
I moved upstream a hundred yards and switched over to a streamer I conjured up the other night. It was an ugly beast with grizzly rabbit and schlappen and olive marabou and ice dub and crazy legs and a black cone head, but ugly in a fish-should-love-this-shit kind of way. Much to my delight, one did, a brown buck in the upper teens with pectoral fins the size of Montana (the state, not Joe) and an ornery disposition. A few casts later, I lost the fly.
That seemed like a good time to go pick up the rib roast.
I tied this fly just for you, bubba. Thanks for the early Christmas present.
Streamer setup: full sink tip integrated line, 3-foot leader. Short, jerky, irregular strips produced both trout today.