But that didn't stop me. I launched the float tube as thunder from a passing storm rumbled in the west. It had been 80 degrees with a stiff wind blowing from the south when I left home, but the lake was relatively calm, and the air was cool.
And some fish were splashily rising. Oh yeah. I was determined to fish on top, so I tied on my cute little Stimulator. I decided to tow it as I paddled across the lake to John's Cove where I anticipated a nice hatch later in the evening. (I figure trolling is pulling a subsurface lure; towing is dragging something on the surface.) I hadn't gotten far when a fish hit it and ran, jumping two or three times. He felt good.
I rushed him. I wonder if I was still in Bluegill mode. I horsed him to the float tube and had the net in hand, but he came unbuttoned. Alas.
So I took off towing again and soon had another hit. Same MO: run and jump. This one I handled more deftly.
Just when I was getting excited the wind shifted to the north and began to blow a gale.
I stuck with the Stimulator for awhile, but it kept getting swamped in the waves. So I trolled it for awhile, with no luck. So I gave in and began trolling a beadhead nymph. Eventually the wind began to settle.
That's when I got a nice hit on the nymph. I set, felt something, then nothing. I thought I'd missed him. But my line kept drifting off to the right, so I tightened up again and he was on. Another runner and jumper. Then he went deep, and the line went slack. I was sure he had twisted off in the weeds. I started reeling and up he came, still firmly hooked.
By then the sun was going down behind the mountain.
Then the clouds began to clear off and the wind began to settle for certain. Soon it was actually calm, and the midges were swirling in the air . I looked hard for Mays, and saw a few small ones, and, only once or twice, a bigger one. But no hatch per se.
But I tied on a Mayfly. It was probably too big, but I was using the Stimulator Principle in my planning. Then I waited for the fish to take advantage of the perfect conditions and begin a feeding frenzy.
Maybe the conditions weren't so perfect from a trout's point of view. It was cooling down fast; maybe that was a factor. Whatever the reason, the frenzy never began. I ended up chasing the rare rise, but the fish were coming up once or twice and then disappearing again.
It didn't happen tonight. Maybe it hasn't happened yet, and I haven't missed any of the magical Mayfly days. I like to think so. Because, like this Eagle, when they're here they're magnificent, but they soon fly away.