My first few times fishing at a spot right at the Trout Brook campground was basically fruitless. Saturday morning I had spent time dropping every sort of lure I had in my tackle box right in among a school of at least 40 large trout. I could clearly see them, simply hanging around just offshore in about five feet of water.
Grubs, spinners, whatever I tried to entice them with were met with total disinterest. It was discouraging.
The entire weekend, the only fish I caught were a couple of small chub. That is, until Sunday afternoon, when upon the advice of that ranger I tried a new spot, also on Trout Brook, but a couple miles upstream.
On Sunday morning I had decided to go for a long run and then see how I felt about going swimming or fishing, or maybe both. After a nearly 14-mile jog from the campground down to South Branch Pond and back, I went for a swim. The swimming spot at the campground includes a footbridge from which you can jump into the deep pool below. This was a welcome reprieve from the intense mid-July heat of the weekend, and something I did on and off the entire weekend when I wasn’t fishing, running, reading or napping.
Once I had cooled off sufficiently, I got ready to leave, not sure if I wanted to delay my drive north. But the ranger had piqued my interest with his mention of a potentially better fishing spot. As I drove by his office on the way out I noticed his truck was in the yard, and I decided to stop in and confirm some details about where this fishing spot was.
He apparently didn’t mind having his lunch disturbed and made sure I knew where to try my luck next.
After a short ride down the road and a walk in the woods I emerged on top of some ledge overlooking a gorgeous set of rapids, pools and riffles. The scene was worth the effort if only for the variety of colors and sizes to found among the river rocks, which had been tumbled seemingly at random along the riverbed, and the deep blues and greens of the calm pools, strung out downstream.
But I was there to do more than admire the scenery, and so scrambled down the small ledge to the shoreline, fishing pole in hand. With a small copper and red spinning lure still on my line from earlier, I waded out and picked a rock upon which to send out my first cast.
Instantly I got a hit, and then a brook trout took the lure full on. It wasn’t the biggest fish I’d ever caught, but it was still a good-sized one, and the setting was certainly the prettiest place I have ever landed a fish.
After a while I moved to another hole and then another, catching two more very nice brook trout, each on the first cast at a new spot. It was a catch and release day for me, and they all went back into the river.
Being all alone, with the cold water swirling around my legs and the amazing beauty around me only added to the enjoyment of being a successful angler - successful at least for that day.
So my advice would be to take some advice, when it’s offered, as it could lead to some satisfying turn of events. In this case, I had put off trying that fishing spot until just before I was about to leave, almost dismissing a small bit of advice, and nearly missing an almost perfect hour of fishing.