I was on the road at 5:00 AM on Saturday. I picked up my friend Aaron in Cambridge, then drove nearly the entirety of Route 2, ending up at the Deerfield River.
We walked about a mile along some train tracks to reach our first destination - the confluence of the Deerfield and a medium-sized tributary. It was chilly starting out, but the warm May sun soon peaked over the steep sides of the valley. The tributary was still in deep shadow, so we decided to start out on the main stem of the Deerfield. We both picked up a few Smallmouth Bass, but not the trout we were looking for.
On my second cast a fish rose to my fly, and I pulled in a small wild brookie. I yelled out "I got one" to Aaron, who replied: "really?!?" I had told him this would likely be a productive stream, but I don't think he believed me. I have been know to lead him on wild goose chases in search of wild trout in the past...
We worked upstream, pulling brookies from nearly every pocket. Catching brookies is great, but I began to worry I wouldn't get my rainbow. The survey that found rainbows here was nearly 20 years ago, and this watershed was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Irene, so I thought the population may have died out.
It wasn't long before my worries disappeared, though. As I pulled in what appeared to be another wild brook trout, I noticed it was lighter in color than the other brookies I had caught. When he settled down and stopped thrashing in the net, I noticed a distinctive red stripe on his side - a telltale sign of a rainbow trout.
We fished on, catching many more brookies and one more rainbow before calling it quits and making the long drive home. While I love the trout streams of Eastern MA, there's something special about the clear waters of a mountain stream. I can't wait to head back into the hills.