But it came with a cost: I netted three nice trout but lost four, and three of them took a fly with them.
August is wonderful on the lake, and the day was gorgeous.
I put in at the south end again--I tend to fall into these kinds of grooves--and trolled a little beadhead leech to the other side. There I tied on the last of my newly tied hopper patterns and began working the edges of the weedbanks. (They used to be "weedbeds," but the lower water has created floating mats of weeds.)
I had 5X on; I was feeling confident, I guess. I got a good take and the tippet parted like someone had cut it with scissors. No explanation. Maybe I nicked the knot when I clipped the tag. Don't know.
But there went my nice little hopper pattern. I have many more Stimulators, though, so I tied one on--on 4X. And I was very careful with my nippers.
I didn't get any more action where I was, so moved back up the shoreline drifting the Stimulator behind me. I had just stopped to take a picture when this trout came up and hit the fly. He wasn't huge, but decent.
Thank you, trout. You broke my drought. (Hey, that's a poem.) That deserves two pictures.
I worked that fly for a long time all up and down the banks, even casting to a few risers, but couldn't get another take. I'm mystified why one trout will take a fly and others will refuse the same fly.
But I enjoyed watching the clouds building and shifting and streaming across the sky.
And the crows are flocking, or gathering into "mobs" of crows. The term must come from their practice of mobbing the birds that prey on them. They surround and hound and harass unmercifully any hawks or owls they find, all at highest volume.
An eagle flew right over me, and the crows set up a clamor, but the eagle was moving fast, and the crows didn't follow. I missed two shots of the eagle overhead and only got this distant shot.
Eventually I gave in and decided to troll. The wind had been gusty all afternoon, so I was waiting for the calm. But when the calm finally came the trout didn't come up. So I decided to go down after them.
I tied on a soft hackle, and, since it was kind of small, I tied it on 5X. I like to live dangerously. I got a nice take and everything held. I worked him right up to the float tube, but he came off as I reached for the net.
I anxiously checked for the fly: still there! My confidence in my skill with 5X rose dangerously.
So that's why, when I decided to try that beadhead leech again, a sweet little fly that killed the Smallmouths on the river, I tied it on a 5X tippet. When will I ever learn?
Some of these trout really slam a trolled fly. Remind me of that next time, would you? I got one of those.
I dredged through my streamer box for another beadhead pattern and found an orange and black wooly bugger that I must have tied ten years ago. It was big, but all the better to fit a 4X tippet with, my dear. And if they want war, let it begin here.
What a great take, deep and strong. And then something I don't get very often, a genuine line-stripping, reel-screaming run. And then another. I thought sure I had a twenty on.
He wasn't that, but he was a fat, strong eighteen.
Then I caught another. That is, I hooked him, but I was in shallower water and he managed to get into the weeds and come off. I was certain I would still have the fly when I pulled the line in. But it was gone.
I had one more payment left, apparently. But I still think I came out ahead.