Friday, July 15, 2016

Trout Lake Report: Love Story

It's a lovely evening.

You're feeling relaxed. You lean back in the tube like it's a lounge chair. It's the perfect place to enjoy a cool brew on a summer's evening.

You're in an unusual mood: you want the fish to come up in open water, and you want to catch them on a small dry fly. You have golden memories of summer days like that. The weather cooperates; it's calm here as the threatening clouds slide away to the north.

You think you might go down to the Drake Bank, but there are fish already dimpling the surface where the channel drops off into the open lake.

The Lady McConnell does the trick. You could do this all evening, and that's the plan.

Then the wind comes up and insists that you change plans.

But you don't. You let the wind push you back through the channel and around the bend.

The wind toots on the beer bottle, the tone getting progressively lower as you drift along.

You're seeking a lee shore, but you don't find one. It doesn't matter. You knot on a newly tied elk hair caddis and fish it around. You are totally absorbed in laying it out and watching it drift. You are unaware of the passage of time.

At some point you tie on a nymph, then a soft hackle, under an indicator. Then you fish the soft hackle without an indicator. The fishing is the thing.

A couple of float tubes have come through the channel and joined you in the south end. It's soon clear they are an actual couple. She fishes in open water, he haunts the shoreline. They come together and part again like a dance. Their quiet conversation and laughter carries to you over the water. You think they're young and in love.

Suddenly it's dusk. The wind is sitting down. You kick back through the channel to see what's happening at the drop off. As you get near, your coffee cup shows what's hatching.

Your wish has come true. The fish have come up, and pods of them are working up and down the lake. This is the first you've seen this phenomenon this year.

You have the little elk hair caddis on again, and you fish it. You see a few caddis, and some mays, mixed in with the clouds of midges. The fish come by and go away and come back and go away again. You get a few swirls and hits, but mostly the fly is ignored. At dark you finally get a solid take.

You kick back toward the take out thinking it has been a long, long time since you fished out an evening without once tying on a muddler.

The couple passes you in the channel. In the near dark you can just make out that their arms are linked and the float tubes are right up against each other. The couple is lost in conversation. You can hear in her low laugh that she is in love. They're kicking in unison, and they're making good time.

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