Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lake Report: Windows

Click on photos for full size image.
I still hold with the "another day, another day" philosophy. But I was happily reminded that sometimes that other day is better than the day before.
I took advantage of a window of opportunity and headed for the lake again, eager to keep working those weed beds. Conditions, at least, seemed to be identical to the day before and the day before that: windy and bright. Maybe a bit hotter.
I started with the little muddler. Fewer fish were rising than the days before, and I couldn't stir up anything in the weeds or along the bank.
So I tied on the Big Bomber. Found a Steelhead wannabe pretty quick. I admit he's got a ways to go, and that he's barely bigger than the fly, but he hit the thing with authority.
A window seemed to open in the fish activity, and suddenly I was getting follows and swirls. I saw a decent fish rise about ten feet out from the weed bed and bombed the Bomber out there. I hadn't even made a strip when this fish whacked it.
I love it when that happens.
He wasn't real big, but he gave me a nice long run and a couple of leaps, all the while heading straight for the weeds, and I couldn't stop him. He bored in and everything stopped. You want to see horsing? I horsed him, 5X or not. And suddenly I felt him shaking again, and up he came.
After releasing him I looked up and noticed all the weeds ripped loose in the fight. I saluted my noble--and vanquished--foe.
The window closed and it was slow for awhile. A guy trolled over and of course wanted to talk. His first time at the lake, so he had lots of questions, like, for instance, "Are there any big fish in here?" He had caught one 12 incher.
I stuck up for my home waters, and assured him there were nice fish in here, even though this season had been slow, and so on and so on and so on. He asked if I was using chironimids. I explained that I was on top with a big ass fly and it was catching some fish. Some guys seem to get that; some guys just get a funny look and change the subject. He paddled away.
Just then the window slid open again. It was still breezy, and the water was riffled, but fish started coming up. I was on the bank side of the weeds and the fish were on the other side, so I paddled back over.
I cast way out away from the weeds and started stripping. This is where the channel opens into the upper lake. It's from 6 to 8 feet in the channel and then drops off through here to depths 20 or 30 feet or deeper. Right at the channel the weeds are at the surface, but as the water deepens so do the weeds, so if you're lucky enough to hook a nice fish here you don't have to worry about weeds. As long as you keep his head up. At certain times--think windows--good fish cruise through here like eating machines.
Once again I was getting follows and swirls and short strikes. Then I got a strike that was right on the money. Very nice fish. Very nice runs. A majestic jump.
I wondered if First-Timer was getting any good fish.
Fish were still working. Now, many of these are little flippers, but there were some nice fish mixed in. I was casting and stripping when I saw a dorsal and a red side porpoise way out there. Up and down, like it never happened. But you know it did, and you want that fish. That fish.
I put the Bomber out there once, twice, three times. Nothing. So I decided to finally change flies. I tied on a big black muddler, a Black Bomber, if you will, and cannonballed it out where I'd last seen the good fish. Kaboom. Immediate take.
This was about seven minutes after that last good fish. Another wonderful time working him in through slashing runs, deep dives and high leaps. I was having fun. I was feeling good.
Was this that fish? Don't know for sure, but the story sure played out like it was. That's good enough for me.
The window closed, at least for good fish. The hatch was heavy again, and I saw caddis and even some callibaetis again, but the risers seemed to be small fish. And even the little fish were sparser than the evening before.
I had been determined to stay with the big flies, but after awhile I got sucked into the little fly quandary. I hadn't gotten any looks at the big flies, and besides, I think there's a chance that some of those little rings are made by big snouts. That hasn't been proven by me yet, but it seems worth trying to prove.
My record with tiny flies the last couple of evenings has not been good. As much as the big fish hit those big flies earlier, the little fish ignore my little flies as darkness falls. I tried a series of 18's and 20's on 6X. Nothing. Then I tied on a tiny emerger and finally got a take. It was a little fish, and a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
Later as the bats fluttered overhead, I got a second take on a tiny mayfly pattern, also a small fish. But there were some big guys out there, I'm sure.
Just have to hope I'm out there when that window opens.

1 comment:

  1. That one bow look like he's choking on the fly. Great post and again great pics.