Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lake Report: Gathering Memories

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There's new snow in the high country. It's still fall down here--but winter is coming down the mountain. So, like gathering wood for winter fires, I gather in a last few memories to warm me on those long cold nights.
Conditions at the lake were as good as they get. The afternoon wind lay down early and hungry fish rose splashily all over the still surface. Last evening I couldn't buy a surface take; tonight all my fish took on top. Go figure.
It began with this nice fish and the black marabou muddler.
Right after that I had another take on the muddler. It was a deep swirling take by a big fish, and I got him ten feet from the float tube before the hook pulled out. These are also memories that make you warm.
I got no more hits on the muddler, so I went through a few different flies to see if I could find the right one. I hooked a small fish on the cinnamon ant but lost him in the weeds; then caught another one.
Then I got no more hits on the ant, so I went through a couple of other flies before tying on a little dark stimulator. I had tried it last night, with no success. But I threw it out and gave it a few twitches and something engulfed it, and began thrashing and rolling. My tippet was 5X so I held my breath as I carefully worked this into the net:
That is a Brown. He was well over twenty, fat and heavy, the best Brown--the best trout--I've caught in this lake. There's a memory. I'm getting warm all over just thinking about it.
I cast that wonderful little stimulator out again and gave it a couple of strips and another good fish smashed it. This was no wallowing Brown; this was a leaping, running Rainbow. I held my breath again.
Then no more hits on the stimulator, or anything else I tried on top. But I didn't seem to care. The rises were dwindling, and I was in my happy place, so I just settled back and trolled until dark.
I caught two--each one interrupting my reverie--this being the best and the last.
I'll remember this evening as the time I managed to catch not one, but two of those big dorsals that have been so tantalizing but so elusive. It was all there tonight, except for the rosy glow of dusk that I mentioned a few posts ago.
But I can always add that to the memory.

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