Monday, October 27, 2014

Good Times On a Stream

I'm in Indiana now, hoping to be here when my youngest daughter gives birth to her second child, my fourth grandson. We've passed the due date, and my time here is running out, but I'm still hoping.

Meanwhile, I'm spending some wonderful time with Big Sister. Today, on what may have been the last hot day of the year, we went to a nearby State Park. After the Nature Center, and before time on the slides and swings, we hiked down to the creek and the pretty little waterfall.

It was one of the best times I've ever had on a stream.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trout Lake Report: Follow the Sun

It was a busy weekend, and a wet one. It finally cleared up this afternoon, and I finally found some time to follow the sun to the lake.

The deer hunters and fall campers were all gone, so I had the south end to myself. The sun felt good, but the south breeze was cool.

I made a circuit working the shoreline with a new muddler.

The lake was very quiet, and my only company was a Kingfisher and a mysterious falcon.

The falcon swooped into the trees near me and sat for awhile. The Kingfisher came sweeping up, then made a three-sixty and swept away, rattling an alarm call. The falcon came off its perch and followed a little way, then came back.

So what would keep a Kingfisher on its toes? My point-and-shoot can't take a high resolution closeup, but the image I was able to come up with, along with my observations, lead me to believe that this was a Peregrine Falcon. I saw the slaty back, and the black moustaches stand out in the photo.

I completed my circuit with the muddler, then tied on the bead head micro leech and trolled for awhile.

A few rises began appearing around the lake, and I soon had some action.

I came around to the take out. It was getting dusky by then and the clouds were rolling back in. I considered calling it a day, but a few fish began rising within casting range. So I clipped off the micro leech, tied on some lighter tippet, knotted on a little mayfly dry and began to stalk risers.

I finally put the fly in the right place and got a lovely take by a lovely Rainbow.

OK, now it was time to go.

My next trip will be the one I'm taking back east to Indiana. I'm still hoping to get back to the lake before October and the season come to an end. But we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

flymage, Fall 2014


Find it HERE.

Trout Lake Report: Change of Season

Everything at the lake proclaims it: the season is rapidly approaching its end. I went out today because now is the time when I need to get there as much as I can. My season will be shortened by a trip to Indiana to be there for the birth of my daughter's second baby, my fifth grandchild. I leave this Wednesday and may get back in time to make one last trip to the lake on the last day of the season. Or this may be it.

It was a Saturday, so there were other fishermen out on the water. And it was the last Saturday of deer season, so there were hunters all around, many driving slowly up and down the road scoping the mountainsides and ridgetops.

I started out in the channel. I could have started with a muddler, as usual. But I have some stimulators that have never been used. I like to tie them, especially when I don't have a lot of time for stacking deer hair. So I tied one on and worked my way down the shoreline that gave up those big Browns on my last trip.

I got another one. I may have missed two more. I had two other takes but came up empty. Why, I don't know. Browns are the last to tell me what they're thinking.

I worked all the way down past the willows, turned around and headed back.

For the return trip I tied on a little black bead head micro leech for a liesurely troll. I've had it for a long time, the sole survivor of a multi-colored batch I tied up at least three years ago. It did its job yet again.

Back in the channel I tied on a fresh stimulator and started down the shoreline again. It was relaxing and enjoyable to maintain that rhythm of casting and stripping that by now is second nature. By this time in the season you have the touch, and can consistently drop the fly mere inches from the bank. But I finally had to admit it. There was nobody home this time.

I went with the bead head leech again for the troll back. I got one bump. I kicked in. While packing up I heard one shot from over in the next valley, the only one I heard all day. I hit the road, but not for the last time. As I have all summer, I'll leave everything in the truck for a quick departure tomorrow or the next day. I hope to make the most of the time I have left.

On the way down off the flats I saw a big congregation of wild turkeys. They too, are proclaiming it: the season is almost gone. Time to get ready for the next one.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

River Report: The Time of the Salmon Coming To an End

Rains all morning, clears up by mid-afternoon. Hit the river, cover the water. Out of a thousand casts hook one smallmouth in the Bridge Run, but fail to get it into the net. Salmon still dominating the river, though their time is coming to an end. All around, washed by the waters of their birth, lie the bodies of those whose work is done. All around lie the reminders that after life comes death...comes life.