The first of my yearly trips to the tirthan is always special. The season has just about opened for trout and the fish are just about getting ready for the summer offensive. There's a kind of relaxed urgency in the valley. The water runs low and clear, which may not be such a great thing for fly fishers but it does present great sight fishing opportunities.The days are crisp and sunny and the evenings demand plenty of firewood.
Getting there is part of the fun, the mad dash from the city into the mountains.Hugging each turn and curve along the way, all of which are now engraved in my mind.I imagine i've gotten to a stage where i know the working times of the roads so I try and time my trip accordingly. Every now and then my theories work, but whenever i get confident that i'm in charge we'll always end up in a massive 2 sided 500 truck pileup!!
I have this habit of timing the trip so that I can get there, jump out of the car and start fishing first thing in the morning.Luckily,at this time of year, the water is way too cold for early morning fishing.So even if you're on the water by 10:00 am, you're good to go.Generally I fish from morning to lunch, say till about 2:30. Break for about an hour and then fish till dusk. since i dont wear a watch or carry a phone on the water,time seems to take on its own meaning. Hours become markers of waning sunlight and every passing moment is defined by a cast.
This time being my third year running, and my second spring session on the tirthan I had come with a very clear cut plan. My angling objective [ apart from catching a nice fish!!] was to try getting fish out of non-pool looking spots. Runs, riffles, rapids, bases of waterfalls,shallow edges of a deep pool. Places where conventionally anglers don't ease into, but worth a shot anyway. The thing gratifying about flyfishing is that you can get into any place ,within reason, in the water. You can get across the bank, wade downstream to cast up, wade in the middle to get to both banks, get over the bank, under the bank, inside eddies, below rocks,..basically the more time you spend on the river you realize the only limitation you have is your imagination. Sure, every now and then you'll hit an impasse where a huge sheer rockface jutting into a tasty slow bend on the river , will block out that aquamarine green deep pool filled with lunkers!! but that aside, i find flyfishing is a personalized experiment running the course of one's angling life. What if i tried that.......
All is all between me and the wife we released more that 30 fish, browns and 'bows both. we took one home for the plate, a 10" male 'bow.The poor guy had swallowed my beadhead prince nymph all the way down. The fishing was excellent. The catching was pretty good too. The average size we caught was about 8"-10". The largest one hooked was about 14" on a brown trout minnow imitation under a bridge in rapid coming off a deep pool!
The best catch for me was this 10" rainbow sitting right off a manmade channel about 4' off the far bank, just behind a big rock. The evening earlier i had seen this guy take midges quitely off the surface but he was difficult to reach at that time with the sun going out. The next day i worked my way to the other bank some 20-30 feet upstream of the same rock. I put on a double nymph rig and cast upstream into the current leading right upto the rock, with plenty of slacking and mending. BAM!! first cast, and the bugger ate my hare's ear the second it hit the pool. This is why i love flyfishing. You seek, you catch and you release. You can start imagining you know your craft after a few good days, only to be sent crying to your evening drink with no bites, no catch, no hatch just the next day.
The browns on the Tirthan are nearly wild now. The rainbows are all escapees from either the fisheries department or the local fish farm. The best place to see how big these 'bows can get is to visit the fish farm from across the road. Its a fair 15-20 minute walk , with some great poools along the way, but to see these giants roaming aimlessly in the vats, makes me want to buy them and throw them in the river....just so i can catch them. But it wont be the same, a farmed fish is meant for the table, not the wild waters.
Anyway, the deeper pools were crystal clear with that tinge of green and you could see about 10' down to the bottom of some of them. You will see suspended trout feeding off the middle and bottom currents. I counted nearly 15 of them in just one pool. But I saw them and they saw me...no takes, none whatsoever!!
So that's that...spring run over, the wait for the summer and fall run begins!!
Last edited by bobbychyma on Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.