It was time once again to say goodbye to September on the lake. I will miss the golden afternoons and calm, cool evenings.
The fish were taking advantage of a heavy midge hatch. Several were rising in the weed mats up against the shoreline.
I laid a new orange-bodied muddler in there. A fish stopped what he was doing and came right over and sucked it in. Another brown. I love these guys.
I revived him in the net. As though he needed much reviving. The instant he realized he had a clear shot into deep water he exploded out of there. I love these guys.
I worked lazily down the shoreline heading to the back bay under the mountain.
I cast to a few rises, but they must have been rainbows. They went down until I was past.
This is the time of year that inspires reminiscing. As I passed the reeds, now high and dry, I fondly remembered when they have been the haunt of big, hungry fish cruising for Brown Drakes. I felt the pang of loss again as I looked at the willows in which one of the biggest trout I ever hooked broke himself off and was gone.
I let the fly drift behind me as I made a beeline for the far shore. One rainbow decided it couldn't resist that orange thing getting away.
Down at the end I searched for rises and continued to reminisce. I have taken some good fish out from under that big log in seasons past. This was one of my daughter Lidia's favorite spots when she was still fishing with me.
I cast the muddler out into open water where a few fish were coming up now and then. Nobody wanted it out here. The rises died down, and soon were few and far between. I saw more and more caddis mixed in with the midges, so I clipped the muddler off, tied on some 5X and finished it off with a little caddis dry. I figured I'd have to wait to find something to cast it to.
But no sooner had I greased it and flipped it out and turned around to get the lay of the water than a couple of risers came up nearby at the same time and started coming my way. These fish were eating with relish, sipping multiple bugs at a time. I knew there was a good chance they'd disappear as quickly as they had appeared.
I just had time for one quick cast. The fly landed two feet from the lead fish--and he snapped it up. No sip, this. It made a loud clop!, like a dog catching a doggie treat in midair. I was as surprised as he was to find him solidly hooked.
He did not want to be caught, and I had to remind myself that I was bringing him in on 5X instead of 4X, but I weathered some runs and a few lunges and got him into the net. What a fish.
That jaw deserved two photos.
I let him go and sat back and again started reminiscing. This time, though, it was about what had just happened. I savored the moment. It will be one of those moments, like all the others tucked away in my memory, that define this place for all time. And once again it was an awesome brown that made the moment.
I love these guys.