I Dream of Catching Beautiful Fish   2 comments

Yesterday I went to the Sugar River just north of Belleville in search of pike with my fly rod. I went after overhearing a conversation in a local fly shop in which the owner and a guy were talking about tying flies for pike. The owner asked where the guy was finding them and the guy said “the Sugar River, near Paoli.”

Well, I thought that part of the Sugar River was designated Trout water, and I wasn’t sure about fishing for anything in Trout water after the season had closed, so I checked the map and found that further downstream the water is not designated, so it’s free game all year round. Plus, I reasoned, the further downstream I went, the better the habitat for Pike.

I drove on down Highway 69 and got to Frenchtown Road, where I crossed over the Sugar River. It is a pretty stretch that looks ripe for catching fish.

Sugar River @ Frenchtown Road

Sugar River @ Frenchtown Road

I worked my way steadily upstream back toward the bridge but only saw one fish, about 10″ long. Perhaps there are more fish moving about in the river when it isn’t 30-degrees outside?

It was fun to continue to hone my fly casting skills, and I was pleased with my ability to place the fly accurately and with good distance. But alas, not a bite. I did some more looking around upstream of the bridge in the designated trout water. It sure is pretty.

After exploring, I consulted my GPS to see what other courses of water were nearby. I headed south on Hwy PB then back up northwest and found a beautiful stream running through a marsh. I had no idea which stream this was, if it held trout, if it was designated trout water, or what.

I was very impressed with this stream. It was deep and windey and pretty. Did I mention deep? All the bends in the stream created significant cut-bank holes, most of which I couldn’t see the bottom of, even though the stream was gin-clear.

I found out after consulting the trout map that this was a stream I’d fished before, though in a different section. The West Branch of the Sugar River!

Here’s to all of you dreaming of April!

West Branch of the Sugar River

West Branch of the Sugar River

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2 responses to “I Dream of Catching Beautiful Fish

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  1. When I watched the videos and saw the pics I saw a woman. I should say I felt I was watching one of those rare beauties that send you off in reverie and a melancholy about things irretrieveable. I think it’s the still grass and absence of leaves. The river will never look just like that ever again.

    This is really a nice stretch of river and makes me so happy knowing it isn’t just about the fish at all! The video was a clear expression of the camera man’s eye. It looked at what we all look at.

    Thanks man!

  2. Aye Man, I hear what you’re saying. Seeing these streams late in the fall, leaves off the trees, it gives you a different perspective of the water. Perhaps it’s the movement of the water and the stillness of the trees.
    I found that even though I didn’t hook up with a fish I was nearly just as satisfied and fulfilled by the outing. I could spend a good amount of time this winter looking at creeks. I think it would be a great alternative to snowshoeing down a trail. There is something enticing about seeing what’s around the next bend in the creek. And the next one after that…

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