Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Fishing Report: More Drakes

Another wonderful afternoon. These are the good times. (Although I saw a pretty good sized grasshopper the other day: soon it will be the other good time: Hopper Time.)
I sat down at the vise again before heading out and got a little fancy. Tied up two prototypes. I decided to try the hot pink wing. I liked it; easy to see when the sun is reflecting off the riffled water. I also tried dark dubbing with the yellow floss as a rib. I liked the effect, but the darkest dubbing I had was gray. I think I need black. I also tied these on #12 3X hooks. I thought I still had 10's but couldn't turn any up. So I want to try this pattern on a #10. Still, I liked the look of the thing. The question was, would the trout?
It was another unsettled day, windy with scudding clouds. The wind was from the south when I got there, but soon shifted to the north and picked up in intensity. The temperature must have dropped 10 degrees in 10 minutes.
I paddled with the wind down the bank a piece and then turned my back to the wind and began working my way back up again casting to the willows. The wind was driving waves into the shore, and it seemed unlikely that I would catch a fish. Then I saw a fishy splash right where the waves were breaking against the willows. It took two casts, then this Brown took. He came two feet out of the water when he felt the hook.

So the fly worked. I fished with renewed confidence but had no more fish for awhile. Then the wind began to abate a bit, and the swallows grew more active: there were Drakes in the air.
I paddled down the shoreline to the north end of the lake. I took a break there and found a shuck on the float tube. The water is littered with these.
By now the wind was calming, and here at the sheltered north end the Drakes were easy to see as they popped out of the water and flew straight up until the breeze caught them. It was fun to watch the birds--including some kind of woodpecker, or maybe a sapsucker--swoop after them. It was surprising how many times they missed.
A few trout started rising here, and I paddled around in circles and cast to them for awhile, but these were the flippy rises of smaller fish. I kept my eye on the deeper water back down the shoreline. Soon I began to see rises there, so headed back.
The Drakes were much in evidence, but so were at least two other kinds of mayfly, caddis, and midges. The air was full of bugs.
I began to get hits, but missed far more fish than I hooked. Many of the hits were big and splashy, but when I'd raise the rod, nothing. I think that's the work of these guys, the "schoolies" that have more exuberance than experience. But I admire their silvery wackiness.
Then there were the better fish who hit just as hard but with more efficiency. These are amazingly strong fish for their size.
I caught another like this one who not only hit the fly, he ingested it. I couldn't see it when I took him out of the net, and thought it had come out in the net, as sometimes happens. But when I followed the tippet to find the fly I found it in his gorge. It was at that moment, as I held the tippet in my hand, that he flopped out of my lap and into the water, snapping the tippet and taking the fly with him. No picture for him. Hope he'll be all right.
It wasn't long before the wind began to pick up again. The rises gradually faded like the day.
I caught the last fish with just enough light left for a decent picture.
It was blowing pretty hard again, and I was getting cold, so I called it a day. I called it a good day. It was chilly and windy, but it was still a good day.
Drakes will do that.

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