Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trout Lake Report: Things That Go Bump In the Night

The very next day you find yourself at the path leading down to the north end access.

You plan to pick up where you left off the night before. When you check the caddis you had been fishing you find it somewhat sprung. You remember that hard, sharp pull in the dark. It makes you think of things that go bump in the night.

You bend the caddis back into shape and fish it around. Fish are rising. They seem to be working something. You get a nice hit and hook up out in open water, but after that they want nothing to do with the caddis.

Then you see what the fish are probably taking: there has been a fall of cinnamon ants. They aren't thick like you've seen them on the Henry's Fork, but you get excited anyway.

You have a couple of cinnamon ants and you tie one on. You fish it all over, chasing rises and drifting it behind you, but you can't get any action. This fly worked on the Henry's Fork, but apparently the trout here require something special made just for them.  

You're close to the inlet, so you kick over, switch to the quasi-hopper, and pick up a few little guys. You cover the whole inlet area carefully, though, muttering under your breath, "Tiger, tiger, burning bright...."

There are clouds building up in the south. Will this be deja vu all over again? You put your rain jacket on.

You get another grab by a little guy, but are happy to see it's a Brown. It's been awhile. Now go get your big brother.

You've been listening for thunder, but haven't heard any, and watching for rain, but haven't seen any. So you aren't quite ready when a wall of wind hits you from behind. You just manage to catch your hat before it's whipped into oblivion.

This isn't really a wind; it's a roaring gale.

Later you'll read in the paper about a "localized windstorm" that brought down several trees in a nearby town, including one that did a number on a house.

Photo: Al Camp

Now you kick into the inlet for whatever shelter it can provide, and, funny thing, you're thinking about trees coming down. You hope you're far enough away from the tree behind you that it won't land on top of you if it topples.

You bob away in your rolling retreat, hanging on to some willow stems for an anchor. You wait for the rain and thunder, but they never come.

Far overhead an eagle is soaring joyously on the rushing updrafts, riding the storm.

The wind slowly abates but never really quits. The lake remains restless.

You fish the hopper here and there, and drift it behind you as you kick back to the take out, but maybe the fish are still in shock, or nauseous from the tossing waves. You hang around for awhile to see if you might get a chance to throw a little caddis out onto a calm lake in the dark. But the fishing is over.

The things that go bump in the night will have to wait.

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