Saturday, June 18, 2016

Trout Lake Report: The State of the Drakes

It's another cool day. That doesn't stop the wildflowers. Bright yellow ones have added their splash of color to the mix. they're called Blanket Flowers, but your name for them is Brown Trout Bellies.

Your plan is to go back down the Drake Bank to see how the hatch is doing. The campground has thinned out so you launch at an open access on the north end of the channel. That will shorten up your travel distance a bit.

Along with the cool temperatures come wind and roaming showers. You're ready for anything.

The sun breaks out now and then. What a tease.

You snag your BD Muddler in the fallen pine, a victim of last season's fire, and a new landmark along the shoreline.

You work your way along, past Reedy Bay, down to the end. You see some Drakes, but nothing is moving.

A little hot coffee and a snack help keep the chill at bay.

You go on around the bend and fish along the west side. At the swallow holes you catch the first fish.

Down here there are Drakes in the air and some fish rising. As raindrops begin to fall you cast the muddler into the shoreline, strip it out--and get a hard pull. You set the hook on a very nice Brown. You play it carefully--it wants to run and go deep into the weeds. You're pretty sure you've got it ready to net. You bring it in, you're reaching out with the net, and the fish looks you in the eye and goes ballistic. Sometimes a fish does that, and if you hold firm for a second or two it will quit, and you can scoop it up. This fish would not quit. And so the inevitable happened: he broke off and took the fly with him.

You tie on a Drake dry and go on down the west shoreline past the landslide.

It's raining harder now.

Another fisherman has rowed down and joined you on the west shoreline. You kick out and around him on your way back to the Drake Bank.

A nice Rainbow takes the fly as it drifts behind you.

You go around the bend and start working back up toward Reedy Bay. Rain squalls come and go, and the wind gets colder.

The Nighthawks are back, again amazing you with their aerial displays.

The fishing is slow, and you see only a few Drakes. You get some hits, but precious few hookups.

Only one more fish comes to the net. Still, the conditions are far from ideal. This was not the best evening for making an assessment of the hatch.

More data will be required in the quest to determine the state of the Drakes.

That's OK with you.

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