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Today was what you might call "marathoner" than my recent trips to the lake, meaning that it was longer. By far. I was able to spend eight hours at the lake, from early afternoon until dark. It's wonderful to be out there in the middle of that long transition into darkness, to experience all the subtle changes of light, weather, mood.
But, of course, I'm also what you might call "tireder" tonight.
The truck is up again, and it was good to see it where it belongs.
It was a beautiful day. The significance of this shot is the shirtsleeves. It's the first time this season I didn't need to bundle up in layers, or even wear a jacket. At least at first. Later it got pretty chilly.
I launched at yet another part of the lake, right where the channel opens up into the north lake. I headed down this shoreline, also fabled, and the scene of many fine catches.
But during the bulk of the afternoon things were very slow. The wind was yet again a factor, blowing from the south this time, which leaves precious little shoreline in its lee at that location.
But then evening came, and things changed.
The wind moderated and then died, and fish began to work. By then I was down the channel at John's Cove. I caught a little fish on a fuzzy nymph under an indicator, but he came off at the float tube. Minutes later I had a good hookup on a nice fish, but he leaped--what you might call "spectacularly"--right off the hook.
I changed to a pheasant tail soft hackle, quickly becoming a standby in situations like this, and managed to drop it right in the middle of several enthusiastic rises. I had an immediate hookup, a strong fish that I couldn't get immediately to the net. But after a very enjoyable couple of minutes I was able to get his picture.
Fish continued to rise, and I continued with the soft hackle, but before I caught another one the rises began to taper off. I followed an eagle back up the channel chasing rises but those fish were also slowing down.
A bat flittered by, the first I've seen this season, and advised me to be efficient in my use of the remaining light. So I rigged with the black beadhead Micro Leech and trolled my way back down the channel. I had a couple of bumps but no hookups. So I tied on a big black leech, trolled a big circle and made my way back up the channel.
More bumps--boys trying to do a man's job--and then three chunky fish in a row. This one, typical of the three, stayed in the net long enough for a picture.
The second one came unhooked in the net and then flipped back into the water while I was trying to get the camera ready for a shot. The third one took right at my take out, so I didn't bother with the camera.
It was a great day, and I was glad not to be limited to a sprint. Now I'm making plans to get up there to camp for a couple days--or three--or four.
I think I'm ready to be what you might call a "marathoner."