We all more or less know that greylight or the bookends of the day can be our best chance to get at trout.
Recently I had a big river, small brook experience where the villagers were very sensitive and darted to their rock and closed the shutters. Cartoon Eyeballs just blinking and staring back from every shadow.
The big river experience was interesting. Lots of birds of prey around. I think in two hours I had only one fish flash on my offering. As we packed it up…and shot the shit, I noticed fish rising in the pool near the lot. The only water we did not try. Comically, even though we took care on our approach the bite shut down as if the pool were void of life. 100 yards down stream a patient osprey dug its talons into a trout and flew off with it.
We went to two smaller brooks that had more protection and canopy. My angling partner did better than I and landed a couple fish and had some short riders. As the sun started to drop I started to better see what was going on and realized that instead of reading the water, I needed to identify each grotto in the pool and drift near each of them. These trout were tiny. Like barnacles…they would spring out grab the fly and retract back into their caves. Tiny and savage cave dwellers. A couple actually pulled a tarpon trick…once they knew they were hooked. Dove through a collection of sticks and leaves to pull the hook and lodge it firmly into the inert structure. The old hitch and switch.
Its amazing to see how many fish can live in these brooks that are barely a trickle this time of year. Water, most probably walk past. At the end of my session the bigger models living here started to get careless and showed themselves. I was not able to sink the hook into them, but I noted there addresses for the next time I visit.