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It was warm Monday, in the valley and up at Trout Lake. Oh my, how nice that was. And it was uncrowded, also very nice. The south campground was empty, so I was able to finally dip into that end of things. And it was unwindy. More niceness. Merely a light, erratic breeze, enough to help keep the mint fresh mosquitoes off. And, as if that wasn't enough, the fish were up and active. The niceness just doesn't quit.
I launched a different float tube on this trip. It's not exactly new, but it's like new. My brother John shipped two tubes out here a few years ago when he came out to fish; I never quite got around to shipping them back, and he kept insisting that there was no rush, and that I should go ahead and use them if I wanted to. So I did use the one. A lot. The slow leak that it has had for quite some time now was recently getting faster. So today I decided to go ahead and break out a fresh tube. Thanks, John.
It seemed like a good indicator day, but I wasn't getting any attention with a scud or a brassie, so I decided to go with a dry instead. There were lots of midges coming off, and also many tiny micro caddis. I found a #20 caddis in one of my boxes and had a go with it on all that calmness.
It took some patience, but finally I got a bulge, missed the hook set, flipped it out again, let it sit, and the fish came up and sucked it in with a loud smack.
I stayed with the little caddis and started targeting rises. That is a fun way to spend an evening. Again it took some patience.
Then, while I was paddling into a new position and the fly was dragging, this fish ambushed it. Both of these fish were jumpers. This one jumped four times in the first two seconds after it felt the hook.
I released it, and it swam away a few feet, then rolled over on its back. Wore itself out, I guess. So I paddled over and revived it a little longer. It flipped its tail at me when it bolted away.
The hatch continued and I began to see some bigger bugs on the water. Looked like mayflies were already making their much anticipated appearance.
I was able to get close enough to identify Callibaetis. That's exciting. There have been precious few Callibaetis here over the last few years. This might be the up year in the cycle.
So what's a guy to do? I tied on a Callibaetis and greased it up good. I wasn't sure the fish were on them, but again I targeted rises, throwing this big juicy fly right in their window. And it wasn't long before wham, a nice fish on a mayfly dry.
There were plenty of risers, pods cruising along, and solitary fish chain-rising. Lovely to see. I kept at my target practice.
Just before it was too dark to see my fly or a take, one more fish liked the looks of that big may.
Before leaving I took one long loop around the south end trolling the black beadhead leech, but nobody wanted that. I could still hear splashy rises here and there as fish cleaned up the hatch. But I was satisfied and happy. I love these warm and dry days.