Industrial-Strength Wild Browns

Not all trout streams are created equal. There may have been a time when this one could have been called pristine. But that was a good industrial revolution and dozens of deserted factories ago.

This river may have hit every branch on its way down the ugly tree, but it is not without its charms. If you can get past the cinder blocks, broken glass, and discarded aluminum siding, you’ll find ducks. Plenty of invertebrate life. And wild brown trout.

Just look at those pecs. Someone’s been working out. My best fish of the day.


I had originally planned to go striper fishing today, but unfavorable reports, unavailable cohorts, and a nasty south wind put that idea to rest. Still, I needed to fish. So I decided to head over to a Class 1 WTMA. Before this past March, I hadn’t fished this stream in years. Buoyed by my success 10 days I ago, I thought I would explore it a little further.

Nothing says “wild trout” like urban factory blight. You could hit this building from the stream with a good enough cast.


Second cast, and I was into the fish pictured above. Today’s fly was a white beadhead min-bugger, and this lovely brown clobbered it on the downstream strip. It’s funny how you find fish in the same sections of river over the years. This one was sitting in — where else? — a current seam. I took a few more smaller fish in parts below, then headed up to another section.

I find that old heater hose gives any fly fishing experience that romantic¬†je ne sais quoi. Don’t you?


That was a mistake. Most of the river was densely overgrown with saplings that made even roll casting impossible. The bottom was covered with fly-eating branches and in one pool, some kind of evil magnetic-to-tungsten bead flies metal grate.  By the third snagging encounter, I decided to pack it in.

I did notice that the suckers were in for spawning. There was also a strong midge hatch. Most of all, there were gloriously-colored wild browns, alive and well in living in their own little version of paradise.

Beauty truly comes from within.