Monday, August 25, 2014

Trout Lake Report: Celebrations

You usually leave good weather behind and drive into rain when you go up to the lake. This time you leave the rain behind.

It's dry at the lake, but you notice the first unmistakable signs of the turning of the seasons.

You tie on a hopper, just to be seasonal, and start across to the inlet. You notice that the sky is full of swallows. This is the time they flock and head south, so you are happy to be able to see them again before they go.

While you're looking up you see an eagle riding the high updrafts on the edge of the storm as it slides by the lake.

And over by the inlet you watch two Kingfishers noisily fishing.

You get down to fishing, too. You cast the hopper out in open water and let the breeze drift it. There's a splashy take, a ripping run across the flats, and some work to do to get the fish to the net.

Here's why: foul-hooked.

You tie on a smaller hopper and work around the babbling inlet stream.

Fish begin making themselves known, and a cast to a rise gets an enthusiastic take.

Callibaetis start their dance, midges and Little Black Caddis join them, and fish begin to rise everywhere. This is an evening rise like the old days, a celebration of summer's bounty. 

Before changing flies you show them the little hopper. They're more than willing to take it.

Then you hook something that quickly breaks you off. There are some big fish lurking in those weed beds. Was it that big Brown you've been seeing?

So you go with a small green muddler and continue to catch fish.

One of them is yet another Brown.

You catch a survivor with half a tail. You think you know what might have happened. Over the last few evenings you have been seeing other things lurking around the weed beds. Otters have been rolling and slashing through them.

After awhile the activity dies down. You're ready to go.

You watch the swallows as you kick back across. Hundreds are swooping and gliding up and down the lake. The sky seems full of them from horizon to horizon. It's beautiful and poignant, a joyful celebration of the summer that is--and was.

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