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I did make it to Trout Lake. I remembered everything except the new damsel flies. It's a long story, but it involves a phone call just before I was ready to leave that required a drive to town to meet somebody, and then having to switch canoe and all from the truck to the van because the truck is down again. And by then I was feeling pressed for time.
So I can still look forward to the pleasure of testing those flies.
It was raining at the south end when I got there, but I was heading to the north end where the rain had already passed. That end tends to be less crowded on a Friday evening.
It did require a difficult canoe launch, basically down that hill. But it was relatively painless--compared to dragging everything back up the hill at the end of the day.
But I like this north end, and I hadn't been there yet this season. The views are wonderful, and there are shallows and willows on the west side that have given up some nice fish.
I paddled across the lake to the west side and began with the indicator/soft hackle rig. There were some fish up and working there in the shallows (which are now a good ten feet deep), and I had a good feeling about things. Maybe it was the change of location.
It wasn't long before it started to sprinkle.
But this time I was wearing my waders. Fool me once, your fault; fool me twice, my fault; fool me three times, still my fault; fool me four times, what am I, some kind of idiot?; fool me five times--nope, you can't do it, I'm finally wearing my waders.
I got a hit on my green indicator, by which I mean a fish tried to eat it. A little later it happened again. That was enough for me. I took off the indicator and tied on the greenest dry fly I had. It's a Carpet Caddis, and isn't small, probably a #12.
I worked it among the cottonwood fluff, which is thick on this end, watched the eagle come back and forth to his perch on a nearby snag, and waited for the unlikely.
And here it is. It came out of nowhere, took the fly hard, fought hard and leaped high. This is the first trout on a dry this season. It also breaks my recent skunk. All of which I am grateful for.
Then I got smart--or greedy--and figured I'd use the Carpet Caddis as the indicator above a little soft hackle.
I worked it, letting it sit, then pulling it slowly in and letting it sit some more. And I got a heart stopping take on the caddis, a big swirl by a good fish, and I came up empty. I don't know how I missed it, or how the fish missed getting hooked by the dropper fly. But there you go.
I didn't get any more interest in that rig, and the fish were less active, so I tried a light deer hair Stimulator, small, and then a small dark one. Then I tried a couple of tiny emergers.
As the sun went behind the mountain the breeze shifted and the cottonwood fluff that had been shoaled along the bank began spreading over the wider lake. There was a sheltered corner at the far northwest side of the lake, so I paddled over there. The breeze picked up and got gusty, so I tied on the pheasant tail soft hackle and hung it under the indicator.
It took awhile, but as the indicator was gusting along it stopped and then dipped, and I came up on a nice fish. I saw it a few feet under the surface and thought at first it was a Brown, but it was only the stained water that made it look that way. I had a hard time keeping it out from under the canoe, and several times thought I'd lose it to the anchor rope. But I finally got it in the net.