Monday, March 16, 2009

Fishing the Russian, Part V - Rainbow Trout

Some pretty nice rainbows lurk in there, too.
Rainbows are much more difficult to see in the river than salmon, moving like pale shadows over the rocks, but do not be deceived: they are in there in force, following the salmon around in hopes of eating their eggs. If you want to test this hypothesis, take a little chunk of roe from the salmon you caught and toss it into the water. The bright red will vanish almost instantly, like a light going out. Throw a whole egg sack and it's almost scary to watch the frenzy.

Not surprisingly, anglers use egg clusters to go after these fish. They are very sensitive to color (the real thing is reddish orange), so bring a variety and compare notes with others.

I've personally had success with woolly buggers and the like. I once had the pleasure of spotting a 24-25in Rainbow in a deep pool as I walked along the river in search of salmon. I quickly tied on a woolly, lowered it gently to the surface of the water and let is sink down and away toward the fish. It was magical to be so close and in such clear water as the trout recognized the fly, approached slowly, and closed his broad mouth it.

The Russian River is a catch-and-release area for Rainbows, so of course it's best to fish barbless.

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