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I got back to Trout Lake last evening for the third day in a row, fourth time this week. I hope to get back this evening and tomorrow evening.
Reason? The fabled Drake hatch. "Fabled," as in "used to been."
So far I haven't seen a single Drake, dead or alive. All I'm going on is the report last Monday from my brother of the angle that they had seen some Sunday evening. That, and the fact that I have caught fish on top, and with a Drake.
But it's time. Last year the Drakes were popping right now. So I go in order to be there when that magic moment arrives. It has been a far from typical early season, and there's a strong likelihood that things are just a leetle delayed.
The other reason I'm hitting the water hard right now is that on Monday I'll be packing, and on Tuesday I'm heading to Indiana for a week with Kim and the boys to see daughters and grandsons. Yay!
Maybe the Drakes will pop tonight and I'll get a taste of it for another year. Maybe they'll wait until I'm gone, and I'll miss it this year.
So be it. First things first.
Last evening everything looked real good for a hatch.
Except for two things: it was still cool (How long, O Lord!?), and there were signs that the lake had gotten a heavy rain earlier in the day. I started with a Drake and explored the shoreline on this side. Nothing moving, not even little guys. I switched to the Carpet Caddis. Still nothing.
I decided to head over to the west side. I could have trolled the caddis, but I tied on a beadhead leech instead.
The back slide had begun.
I got no bumps or takes on the way over, and things were real quiet over there. I tested the waters with a Drake, and then the caddis, but things stayed real quiet. There were random rises, mostly little fish, and a couple of times they rose near my dry and ignored it.
So, I backslid all the way. I tied on a nymph and hung it about 18 inches below an indicator. Ah, what a relaxing way to fish. I almost fell asleep listening to the sounds of the peaceful lake.
It took awhile, but I finally had a good take and the first fish of the evening.
With the coming of dusk the fish started working more systematically. I thought about tying on a Drake, but once you've backslid it's hard to turn around again. Then again, there were midges everywhere, and the risers were twenty or thirty yards off the bank and obviously taking them. So I stayed with the nymph and indicator.
The indicator moved, moved again, and then slowly slid under the water. A delicate take by a very nice fish. He gave me one of the more enjoyable fights of the young season. I was a little concerned because I ran out of 5X so I had him on 6X. But I didn't rush him, and got him in the net.
Nice heavy fish. He deserves three pics.
The fish would go on flurries of activity, then slow down, then start up again. I missed a couple of takes, and then caught another one.
A breeze kicked up, and I decided to troll back to the van. I tied on the famous Girdle Bug thinking I might be able to dredge up something big. That didn't happen, but it was an enjoyable paddle through the bat filled evening. I know the bats are looking for those Drakes, too.