I knew the fish would be feeding deep so I was nymph fishing all of the deeper pockets. I did not have much luck, except for one spot where I always catch fish. A large undercut bolder. I made several casts to the other side of the bolder while standing behind it. Finally the line tightened and I quickly raised the rod tip to set the hook. It was a 7" male brookie still in spawning colors. But from his thin body, it was obvious he was just trying to make it through the winter at this point.
I released the brookie and decided I would leave the little native "speckles" alone until spring. They are under enough pressure as it is. I decided to move to the catch and release section of the Davidson River.
click picture to enlarge
On the Davidson, I went to the same place where I caught the 16" brown the week before. It was late in the day so many fishermen had already fished this hole. Fortunately a cold winter rain shower chased most of the other anglers away and I had the spot all to myself.
I fished for about an hour with no luck. I could see fish but they were very skittish. Finally I changed to a very fine 7X tippet and tied on a natural color San Juan worm. I allowed the nymph to drift as naturally as I could in the deepest section of the run. I only felt a slight tug that caused me to set the hook. It was a good sized fish. I had to play him very carefully to keep from breaking the fine tippet. Finally I was able to coax him to shore and get a net under him. It was a very plump rainbow measuring 16". I was hoping for something a little bigger to break my previous week's record, but I was happy.