I got a chance to run up to the gaging station section of the West Carson river today for a quick 1-hour after-work session. You know that you have a section dialed when you can drive there, rig up, fish for 45 minutes, and get back home within a 75 minute time span. No thought required — just get in and go. I know that I sound like a broken record hitting the West Carson so frequently, but it really is the best choice when run-off is in full force and it is so close that it makes sense when gas is as expensive as it is. I am only a week or two away from having tooooooo many choices, including several sections of the East Carson, the West Walker, the Little Walker, not to mention several tribs that I will leave nameless.
Flows were up slightly (just slightly) and the water was just a hair tinted versus Sunday. Other than that, there were more bugs on the water and I could see fish (mostly stockers) swimming around. It was super windy, so I decided that a dry would be of little use, so i tied up a double nymph rig with a #14 BH hare’s ear on top and a #18 copper john as the dropper. I crimped on a single split and added my strike indicator pretty high up the leader.
I tossed the line in close to the bank for a few drifts, then tossed the line mid-stream for a few more, just to “clear” the water. I waded to the rock out-cropping mid-stream and proceeded to fish the deep slot against the far wall. It was not too long into my efforts when I was rewarded with a solid take by a nice fish. He immediately took refuge under a submerged log and I could not coax him out. It was a battle of wits patience game at this point, and having none, I gave a great heave to try to yank him out and broke him off. ROUND ONE TO THE FISH.
At this point, I climbed one of the rocks to get a better perspective of the sunken log. That is when I noticed that there were three or four NICE fish using the log as cover. Back in the water a moment later, I re-rig, but with MUCH HEAVIER tippet. No more of this 5X to 6X dropper stuff for these fish if I am to successfully fight them from their cover. I add a section of 4X flouro to my leader, the same Hare’s Ear nymph as above, then more 4X flouro for my dropper to another #18 copper john.
The game plan now is to cast upstream, get a good drift, but stop short so that my nymphs start to rise (swing) off the bottom, just in front of the log. On my third drift I am rewarded with a solid take and it is game on! This fish did not dive for cover like his compadre, he decided to swim up and down the slot (spooking every other fish I am sure) in his futile attempts to get off. I finally decided to put all the pressure that a 4X tippet allows and I wrangled the fish to hand. I was rewarded with a very nice 15″ stocked Rainbow. ROUND TWO TO ME.
I took a few more half-hearted drifts, what I call my 10-count, then headed back to the car to go home. 1 for 2 in 45 minutes from a single hole, including having to rig up TWICE…that is victory in my eyes. BTW, I spent a good portion of last summer learning how to effective fish that slot, so if you go out there and fail to get any fish, do not ask me ‘cuz I won’t tell.