Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday Fishing Report: The Fish of the Day

Another afternoon and evening trip to enjoy one more of the waning days of August.

I noticed today that the swallows are gone. That's always a bittersweet realization. They're among the first of the birds to go. The Eagle was here, and stayed perched on his limb most of the evening.

It was a day of little fish, and of lost fish. I caught several of these on the Wooly Bugger. They're pretty little things.

But I also lost the fish of the day when he hit the Bugger and began stripping line off the reel in a long run. I enjoyed that a split second too long and he got into some weeds. I was lucky to come up with the fly.

As evening settled in I went back to a dry. I'm finding it very enjoyable to mess around with dry flies in the cool blue dusk. I don't catch as many as I might if I trolled steadily, but when I do catch one it's extra rewarding.

I had seen a flying ant on the water--just one--and that was enough to get me to tie on one of my Cinnamon Ants. There are also caddis coming off intermittently here and there, and the ant makes a pretty good caddis imitation.

This ant pattern is famous, at least for me and my brother, John. It transformed a trip to the Henry's Fork into a Trip To Remember. I caught more 20 inch trout that week on this pattern than before or since.

This one isn't quite 20 inches, but I was pleased that he liked the fly.

But I lost the fish of the day on this fly--and lost the fly. (I know I said the earlier fish I lost was the "fish of the day;" either one could have been.) I was moving to a new spot and was drifting the fly behind me when a fish hit it hard. I wasn't ready, the rod was at a right angle to the fly, and the line caught under my finger when the trout took off. There went the fly--and the tippet--and the trout.

Later, in the gloaming, I had another ant on and was casting to some rises even though I couldn't see the fly very well. A fish came up right next to my fly, and I, thinking it was on my fly, raised the rod causing my fly to dart away, and the fish nailed it.

It was the fish of the day, a very energetic Brown that probably went a foot or 13 inches long. You'll have to take my word for it; it was too dark for a photo.

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