Last week I decided to take the 9 mile drive out to Camp 9. A small section of the middle fork of the Stanislaus River where it combines with the New Melones reservoir. The water level can fluctuate both seasonally and daily depending on weather factors, the power sub-station and the level of the reservoir.
At the time I went the water level was a bit low, but that was to be expected with the dry winter we just had. Even with the low water I was able to find a nice, peaceful area just down from the power station.
I had a short schedule this day so I was only able to spend about an hour on the water. From the vantage point I chose there were several good sized trout that were taking an interest in the copper head prince nymph I was using but none would take the hook or even come close to the surface. Finally, with my time running short, as the first rays of sun hit the water the fish started jumping. I started dropping my fly a bit upstream and letting the current carry it down a ways when I felt a rather violent strike as my hook set in the lip of what had to be at least a six pound Brown Trout. We struggled and fought each other for the better part of ten minutes when he proved to be to much for my rod and it snapped.
Since this section of the river in a wild life preserve with a bag limit of two and a size minimum of 14 inches, many trout are released and allowed to grow to very nice sizes. As soon as I pick up a new fly rod I will be headed back out to battle with George again.