HappyI was able to get away for the evening again. I went to the south end, a place I tend to frequent this time of year, and found it pleasantly deserted. There had been thunderstorms roaming around all day but things gradually cleared off while I was there. It was a beautiful evening.
SadAs I took the float tube down to the water something started flapping and crying in a tree near the water. I discovered a catbird who had apparently tried to eat a fishing fly that was tangled in a dead branch of the tree. He had hooked himself in the beak and was tethered by a short piece of line. He would flap and hang and then sit forlornly on the branch, and then begin again.
I tried to rescue him, but the branch was beyond reach of the longest sticks I could find, and too thick to break with a fly line even if I could have cast it over the branch.
So I sadly left him there to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling.
The Loons were with me all evening. This one, the male, was preening himself. He dipped his beak into the water repeatedly, like a teenage boy wetting his comb. And he rolled way over on his side to preen his belly.
I started trolling for some reason. There was little activity, and maybe I was saving the hopper for later.
Earlier in the week I found two of these damselfly nymphs crawling on me, on their way to my head to hatch.
I had some damsel nymphs that I had tied last year, but they seemed way too yellow next to the real thing. So I dug out a little-used green chironimid pattern.
Here are a couple pictures of it.
What happened next was one of those "perfect moments" that I note in the blog heading.
I cast in to a thin corridor between the bank and some weedtops sticking out of the water. I began to strip the fly in, slowly, and had moved it maybe six inches to the edge of the weeds when I saw a fish come up in a subtle porpoising rise just two feet from the fly and heading right toward it.
I stopped stripping and held my breath and watched the fly bobbing there...and just when I thought he should be there, he was there. He calmly took the fly.
The wind picked up, and I worked some more bank but had used up my mojo. So I went to the far south end to wait for calm and the hatch.
It came, and I amused myself by trying to catch roaming pods of trout with a little tiny dry fly.
As it got dusky, around 9:00, I happened to look up and saw the truck lights on.
Aiee! Stupido! I had turned them on while driving up through rain. But it was sunny when I got to the lake....
That was the end of the fishing. I kicked the float tube into overdrive, skidded to a stop, leaped out, stumbled up the bank to the truck, fumbled for my keys in the wader pockets, unlocked the truck and turned off the lights.
I didn't have the courage to try to start the engine right away; I went ahead and loaded up.
I turned the key and it went Clunk!--Ro-o-o--a-a-a-r! I'm real glad for that new battery.
Oh, and when I went back down to the water for the float tube I looked up expecting to find the catbird hanging dead. It was gone, even though the fly was still hanging there. Good to know birds can come unhooked, too.
Now that's a happy ending.