Monday, August 18, 2014

Trout Lake Report: Move Over, Shark Week

You go back to the inlet the very next day after your flurry of Browns. The weather has moderated. Thunderstorms during the night have cooled things down and cleared the air a bit. The fish seem to like the change: they're actively feeding around barely submerged weed beds halfway across the lake.

You stop and cast a small muddler to some risers and get a quick hit. It's a good Rainbow.

You take a couple more casts, but you're eager to get back to the inlet to see if any Browns are there, so you abandon the Rainbows and and start across again.

In the strip of open water on the other side of the weed mats you find fish working. That same little Brown is still jumping and splashing where he was the evening before.

You go straight to the Damselator and begin working on him. Twice you get him to follow. Then you blow it. You've stripped the fly back in slowly, you wait a moment to make sure he's not there, and then you pick up the fly--and he's there. You pull the fly right out of his mouth, pricking him in the process. That's the end of him. That Brown is a survivor.

More fish are active, but you can't tell if they're Browns or Rainbows. There's a heavy rise ring where you saw the big Brown the evening before, so you lay the Damselator out and let it sit. There's a quiet take, you get a hookup, and then the fish surges away and breaks off. Was that the Brown?

When the sun goes behind the mountain you notice something you haven't seen here in a long time. Good numbers of Callibaetis spinners are dancing over the water. You do something you rarely do, and match the hatch. You dig into your fly boxes to find some Callibaetis dries you tied up years ago for the Henry's Fork.

You cast one out where you've seen rises, and get a hit. You set, and pull a little tiny Rainbow three feet out of the water. You start to strip it in as quick as you can, suddenly feel a weight inconsistent with the diminutive size of the fish you just hooked, look up and see that you've got a very nice Brown on the end of the line. How did that happen?

You start to play the Brown carefully. He does not want to give an inch, and runs into reeds where he's hung up long enough for you to get a good look at him. He's a nice fish. You get him loose, and begin to feel that you just might pull this off, when he's suddenly gone. You strip in only the little tiny Rainbow you started with.

Of course, the Brown took that little fish as soon as it hit the water in distress. The Brown may have been actually snagged on the end of that hook, but it felt like he finally just let go. As for the little Rainbow, he survived. You figure you can at least feel good about that.

You switch to a fresh fly and watch for a few moments. Callibaetis are on the water, and fish are coming up along the edges of the weed mats to take them. The rises are beautiful: long, slow, sinuous, porpoising takes. You drop the fly an inch from the weeds and wait. Up comes a fish, a nice Rainbow.

You cast again, wait, and there's another slow motion take. This is a better fish, and it's another Brown. Or is it the same Brown? It doesn't matter; it's a Brown, and you get him into the net.

It's one of the better Browns in what you have already begun to think of as--Brown Week.


  1. I'm a big fan of Shark Week...but I'm an even bigger fan of Brown Week!! Nice fish Jim....

  2. I hear the music, but it's not the same as the Jaws theme. It's still an ominous sound.