Yesterday I stopped by the Swift with the intention of fishing for colorful brook trout, which is something I always look forward to each fall. I caught several rainbow and brook trout on both dry and sub-surface offerings. The surprise of the day goes to a huge brown trout at the Swift.
I was nymphing the riffles below the hatchery pipe when I felt a hit. I set the hook and initially thought I was snagged until the fish shot off downstream, taking roughly 45 feet of fly line with it in about 5 seconds. I assumed it was a big and feisty rainbow, and started running down the river as fast as I could to catch up to it. I can honestly say it’s the largest trout I’ve seen in person on the Swift.
The fish took off from the riffles almost to the end of the pool, and I was finally able to work it into calmer water. It was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to fit this trout in my net, so I asked if anyone else had a larger net and could help net it while I fought it. Unfortunately, they did not. Shortly after, the trout bolted while I was putting tension on the line and it snapped right off. The fish was within 3 feet of me at the closest point, and I can confirm that it is between 24-30″, and looked like it weighed about 7 pounds. I wish I could have snapped a photo of this fish, because it truly has to be seen to be believed. It spends its time in a highly fished area, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before someone can get that beast to hand. I only hope someone will snap a photo of it and share it somewhere! I also lost my net yesterday, and now I’m considering getting a larger one. If anyone finds a rubber net with a curved wooden handle and blue clip, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
After the experience with the brown, it continued to be a great day of fishing. I fished dries for awhile and caught a tiny rainbow with parr marks. They don’t typically stock them this size, so I can only assume that it was a hatchery escapee. It took a size 24 Griffith’s Gnat.
I also caught several rainbow trout in the 15-16″ range, which always put up a good fight. There were a lot of leaping trout, which is always fun to see (except when they’re breaking your line). Most of the larger fish were taking my favorite fly . I also had success on a size 30 that I tie and use as an emerger pattern beneath a dry fly.
I love the range of brook trout sizes you can catch at the Swift. I took pictures of a few examples of the varying sizes. A few of the trout barely register as strikes.