It rained in the morning but stopped by the time I was able to head for the lake. It was definitely feeling and looking more Octoberish.
I launched at the south end--the deer hunters' camp was gone--and started across to the other side. The water temperature was bracing.
I had tied on my latest muddler variation. It would be the only fly I used. I greased it good--I want it to float as high and long as possible. As I kicked along I cast it out to the side and let it drift until it straightened out behind me. Then did it again. And again. As I approached the shoreline, and just as the line straightened out, a fish grabbed the fly. An eager rainbow.
That was a nice beginning. I started working the shoreline now, casting the fly in as close to the bank as I could get it. That's pretty skinny water right now, and the weed beds have diminished, leaving little cover. But the fish have been in there. Especially browns.
I had made some progress when I glanced back to water I had just covered and saw a tail come up six inches from the bank. It waved at me once and disappeared. I put on the brakes and circled around to where I could get a cast in there again.
I don't know where this fish was when I made my first pass. This time, though, when I dropped the fly in, let it sit for a moment or two, then began a twitchy strip, the fish raced for it from five feet away, pushing a wide wake. The wake stopped right under the fly and I heard a loud clop. When I raised up I had him. It made me laugh out loud.
That's why I love browns.
I continued on down the shoreline, still chuckling and marveling at that fish, and eager to find the next one. The lake is down to bare bones now, but the fish are in there.
I was still casting the fly in as close as I could. I'd cast it in, let it sit for a few moments to see what would happen, and then strip it back. You can get a hit at any time doing that. That's what I call fun.
I cast the fly in. Plop went the fly. Instantly a big nose came up and took it. Sometimes you hit the bullseye. That also made me laugh out loud. No doubt about it, these browns really cheer me up.
I made my way around the south end to the back channel, which is now too low to navigate. The last time I was here I found several browns working the weeds where the lake shallows out into the channel. There was no rise going on; a single fish would come up once in awhile, here and there. So I laid the muddler out here and there to see what I could find.
It's the kind of fishing I love. Kind of like Christmas morning: you never know what you're going to get. Every few casts I'd hit it right and get a hit in return. I'd set, but couldn't get a solid hookup. I don't know if they were rainbows, but I do know that when this brown hit the fly there was no messing around--he hooked himself. Another present for me.
I kept it up for awhile, but the fishing was slowing down, and the light was rapidly waning.
I made one more cast. I watched to see where the fly landed, looked away for a split second, looked back and couldn't find the fly. So I raised the rod. What do you know? Another little brown.
OK, I made a few more casts as I kicked back to the take out, but that little brown was the last fish of a very entertaining evening.
I packed up and started for home. The almost-full moon was rising over the ridge as I rounded a bend. I got a shot before it was swallowed up by the clouds. The show was over. All that was left was the memories.
I was remembering that orange-bodied muddler in the jaws of those browns. It had worked well. I was already thinking about what I would tie up for the next trip.