Thursday, May 19, 2016

Trout Lake Report: A Fish in the Hand

You like to think that fishing is your life, but sometimes your life makes it hard to find time to fish. This time you have to grab a few hours in the middle of the day. You launch at the channel.

You have learned that midday is a good time to find individual fish working damsels, so you tie on a damselator.

Sure enough, just a little way along the channel you find a fish splashing around. It takes a couple of casts to get the fly in the right place, but when it is, the fish nails it. Another Tiger, a good 19 inches. You're very pleased.

You come out of the channel into the north end and start down the Drake Bank. You want to see if there are any signs of an early Drake hatch.

Along the way you find a couple of other fish working. You get strikes out of them, and have them on for a second or two, but both pull off the hook.

Then you get a good hookup. It acts just like a Brown, but it's a fine Rainbow.

The wind has kicked up. It blows you right down the shoreline.

And it blows the damselator right into another chunky Rainbow's mouth.

Down at Drake Bay there are no signs of Drakes yet. It's early in the day for any to be hatching, but there are no shucks in the water or other evidence that they're here. The Bay has changed, though. The tree that was its centerpiece is down. You don't think the Drakes will mind.

Time to work back up the shoreline to the truck. You tie on the Muddler of the Day. Surprise, it's blue.

You have high hopes for it, but after a hundred yards or so the tippet wraps around the fly. You blame the wind. When you try to extricate the tippet it skews the deerhair out at an impossible angle. You can't get it loose, so you decide to clip the fly for possible future restoration. You tie on a black-bodied muddler.

You've been kicking against the wind to get back, but now the wind backs off. You appreciate the easier passage,

Before you know it, though, you're back at the take out without another fish. But, you did catch three really nice ones. You think about that Tiger, and you remember again: A fish in the hand is worth two in the lake.

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