A Rainbow Pool

There is this pool in a river in New Hampshire. Southern New Hampshire. For this particular river its an uncharacteristically deep pool. What started as a pretty decent pool at a bend in the river with an undercut bank on one side and a gravel bank on the other suffered a big tree fall. The way that big old tree fell into the river during this past winter’s ice storm, caused a constriction forcing more water rushing through less space. The force of that rushing water greatly increased the downward erosion into largely a sand and gravel stream bed. It got deeper and the current much stronger. The big old tree laying across there at the same time caused a larger pool to form upstream approaching the riffles at the tail out of the pool just upstream from the other. All in all this development has created a made to order refuge for trout in a stream that tends to get warm in summer and freeze in winter, which is pretty typical of many streams and rivers in southern New Hampshire.

I’m so glad that I found it!

Today was my second visit to the pool. I think I’ll call it ‘Beech Pool’ after the old and dead beech that met its demise at the hands of the fierce ice storm of the winter.

The first visit yielded a decent rainbow and a missed fish.

Its easy enough to fish the pool upstream from the tree, but more difficult just the other side of the tree. What with the branches trailing away and the turbulence as the water is relieved of forcing itself under the tree trunk–its challenging.

No dry will last more than a half second and even a weighted nymph such as a copper john, beaded hare’s ear or West Canada Wire Fly is almost immediately swept away and has no chance of getting down deep. And getting down deep is the only way to get the attention of a big fish that had taken up residence in a spot about six feet down. A spot I imagine where the hydraulic caused by the water flowing around and under that tree was sucking all kinds of great food and overwhelmed bait fish to his hungrily waiting maw.

I knew he was there because on that first visit to Beech Pool, I had dropped a weighted fly into that spot while foolishly standing on the tree trunk and just as I had pulled the line up to prevent entanglement, he chased  it to the surface–saw me and turned tail to return to his lair.

Today, I had myself so worked up over the prospect of getting this fella that I couldn’t bring myself to immediately go after him. Instead I was temporarily satisfied with fishing the section upstream of the tree. I had a fine time with the catching of two rainbows in the 12-14″ range, but the notion of that ghost living only yards away was like velcro on my brain. I looked into my streamer box and the heaviest thing I had was a big olive ‘super bugger’ with lead eyes and some serious marabou. I figured if anything would bring that bruiser up, it would be something like that–something approximating the meat that this carnivore would chomp.

I tried several places to get that fly started into the current in order for it to end up where I thought he was. After a few tries–Bam! He grabbed the super bugger and it grabbed him and we were on for a June afternoon fight. When that trout jumped for the first time after coming out into the pool from under the tree, I wished that I had my Sage 6 wt rather than my 4 wt. He bent that Redington Wayfarer over like it had no back bone at all. He ran hard and my reel sang me a song. My 5x tippet held as I gave him room and after a brave battle, I had him on the rocks at my feet. I had forgotten to clip my net to my vest when leaving the car, so just as I had my two hands barely around him, he gave a mighty twist and slipped from my grasp. Just then the tippet broke and he escaped my clutches with the ‘Super Bugger’ still in his maw.

Now that I’ve calmed down a bit and my mind is half way my own, I’d say he was a good 22″ and fat as a mellon. I could barely get my hands around his middle.

In a few days, I plan to return and retrieve my ‘Super Bugger’.


~ by John McGranaghan on June 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “A Rainbow Pool”

  1. FANTASTIC Parker, just fantastic

  2. It was a lot of fun hooking up from underneath the tree like that.
    I thought I’d lost him for a moment when he ran back under there at one point, but I was able to get him back out before he got caught up in the branches behind it.
    Amazing what a 5x can do if worked gently with no abrupt movements.
    Kind of like how I school my southern bred wife to drive on snow.
    “Do nothing suddenly, hon” “Easy does it”.

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