June 6, 2018

Home Waters

I love fishing new waters. I love the thrill of catching fish on the first visit to newly scouted creeks and streams. But even more than new waters, I love fishing home waters.

There is something about being home that makes you feel at peace and unburdened. You get to know every bend and riffle, every pocket and pool, and you're able to know exactly where the fish are. Sometimes, you can catch the same trout many times in a season. I've got a couple that I've caught many times over several seasons (they have markings, such a spawning scars, that make them easy to identify). It's a real joy.

The other evening I fished one such water. I presented the fly using my Nissin Air Stage Honryu 380 and a 290 cm (380 cm with tippet) #3 level line. The fish took a soft hackle grey kebari, as well as a Grave Digger kebari in locations that were very familiar to me. It's fun to know exactly where each fish would be and to be able to present the fly in a way to induce a take.

At one point, the stream slows and narrows. On many occasions I have presented a sakasa kebari with moderate results. Usually it's the smaller trout that will take the fly, with the larger trout usually giving me a refusal. I've tried numerous different patterns, motions, and depths, all with the same result. But this evening was different. Upon reaching the slow water section, and after presenting the subsurface fly and getting the usual refusals, I swallowed my pride and changed to a terrestrial dry fly -- in this case, a #16 foam ant. On my first presentation I hooked and landed a healthy 13 inch cutthroat. A few casts later I took the largest trout of the pod, a 14 inch brown. Lesson learned: on some waters your one fly might not be the right fly. Change to the one fly that works.

After my usual 1.5 hours fishing, and after landing numerous healthy trout, I drove home. Yes, it's nice to be back home again.


  1. Nice fish Tom. I love those arrows showing where you find them.

    My NM fishing is closed due to fire danger for awhile.


  2. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for sharing. I know what you mean about fishing a stream you are very familiar with. My home stream is so close I can be in the water in less than 10 minutes, only my stream is full of panfish and smallmouth. I usually know where the fish should be and what flies are likely to work. Wish I had access to a trout stream. I guess human nature is to long for what you don't have and under appreciate what you do have.

  3. Hi Tom. It is good to have you home again. I missed not having you post on your fishing adventures.

    Question: What does pride have to do with your fishing? The fish want what they need - food. It is our job as anglers to give them what they want and need and the trout will tell us by their actions if we are not doing it right. I am happy to see that you succeeded in such a spectacular way with the dry ant pattern....Karl.

  4. " Lesson learned: on some waters your one fly might not be the right fly. Change to the one fly that works. "
    I'll keep that.
    Thanks 💖✌

  5. Nice Post Tom,

    I am envious of having the opportunity to have such a stable fishery in ones own neighborhood. I am probably like most and have highly pressured streams. I am lucky to have fish last a month or two before they are harvested.

    Beautiful pics and info as always. I have never fished terrestrial patterns before, I should probably reconsider.

    Thank you again for your blog entries....They are awesome.