Wednesday evening was beautiful--but quirky.
I was thinking Hex all the way, but I threw a muddler on the way to the Hex banks.
Things were slow, unlike previous trips, until I finally hooked up with a nice fish. It felt like the 22 incher I've been looking for. No wonder. It was foul hooked. That seldom happens with a stripped streamer. I managed one photo before he made his break.
There were multiple hatches coming off all evening, including these Little Black Caddis.
The Hex showed up early. But the fish were strangely quiet. Each time a fish would come up I'd think things were going to get going. But they never really did. I was changing positions, dragging the fly behind me, when this fish porpoised on it. But, foul hooked. Close to the mouth, but foul hooked nevertheless.
I was back in that little bay I fished on Monday. I had just cast my Hex fly into the bank when I saw it floating on the water next to the float tube. I couldn't figure out how I had snapped it off on the cast. But when I started stripping in the line I saw that there was still a Hex fly on the tippet. Yep, I had found the fly that good fish had taken on Monday.
The Hex kept coming off, more than I had seen yet, but the fish were still quiet. I'd get a hit every once in a long while, and missed more often than not. I was apparently setting too soon rather than too late. I tried to discipline myself to do the steelhead set, but I'd still feel the fly scrape out of their mouth.
I finally hooked up with a heavy Brown. I had bloodknotted the 4X tippet to the leader this time, and I even quickly got the fish on the reel. It all worked beautifully. I had his nose in the net and was looking him in the eye when the fly came out and he was gone. The fly was in his jaw. I saw it. But I still hadn't set the hook solidly.
The hatch just got better and better. Lots of Hex dancing in the sky, a feast for swallows and nighthawks, and many squirming on the surface. But no fish. It was very strange. I caught a little fish, but he squirmed too, right off the hook and out of the net before I could get a photo. Oh, and I forgot to mention, he was also foul hooked.
When I set out for the truck the Hex were still dancing. Those specks in this photo are some of the many, many bugs in the sky. I saw Hex on the water far out away from the shore, too.
But the fish were still having none of it. Precious few rises anywhere. I trolled a muddler all the way back and caught one small fish. He, at least, was firmly hooked.
Note to self: figure out what's going on with that hook set.