With this being the Canada Day long weekend, I expected there to be crowds on the water today. Instead, when I arrived at about 4PM, there was one other person on the water besides me. At least at the stretch I’ve been enjoying getting to know better, recently.
Perhaps it was the stiff breezes that kept anglers away – the wind was heavy, and it was rather difficult to land a dry fly with any grace or gentleness at all – so I rather than try to “join ’em,” I decided to try and “beat ’em.” I thought I’d tie on my Malteser just to see what would happen – and first cast, on a fast strip, had a take but no hook up. A few more casts through the pool, and brought a nice fourteen incher to hand. By this time, it had started to rain, so unfortunately no pictures.
The rest of the afternoon and evening had spells of rain, with thunder and lightning threatening to draw closer too. I noticed some fish rising, but the wind was still blowing hard. Because of the rain, I figured that short casts would be o.k., and tied on a “Tap Dance Caddis.” Wow.. the action was great with this fly!
I lost track of the number of fish that hit the fly, but that I lost. When the wind died, and I was able to make longer casts toward the bank where I could see some nice fishing rising, I ended up releasing about 10 fish, smallest around 8″, the largest about 12.
It’s hard to tell from the picture below, but the bank itself is rock with trees above it. The foliage overhangs the river, about 4 feet hight, and extends several feet out over the river. It was right under this that one large brown was rising and I tried to work it for about an hour – but no luck. It looked to be about a 16 incher.
Of course, with the foliage the way it was, and wanting to drift the fly right under, casting didn’t have to be perfect – but any that were off would get the fly caught up. Thankfully, I didn’t lose any flies (actually, I lost one fly in the foliage at the end of the night). But neither did I get the sixteen incher either.
However, I did get a number of browns that rose and took the the size 20 caddis. Initially, I had thought that the hook gap on the fly wasn’t wide enough; but after working on setting the hook by using my hand and pulling back on the line, I’m thinking that my earlier “loss rate” was due to trying to set the hook with the rod instead of this “pull back” technique.
After a while, the dry caddis action went dead. Nothing. Yet, I could see flashes of fish rising to the surface, but this time, they just seemed to be sipping on something just under the surface. The only thing I could see hatching were tiny white flies, almost like tricos, but not quite the same. I tried a couple of other dry fly patterns, and although fish would rise to the fly, they’d take a good long hard look before darting away.
Next, I tied on a small size 20 beadhead nymph. Had two real nice hookups with that, but lost the fish. Then, the action on this fly went dead. It was a bit frustrating seeing all these fish rising and taking something that was not quite on the surface! So, I decided to try a #12 Quinchat’s Glimmer. That was just the ticket! First cast, boom. Fish on – a nice foot long brown trout. A few more casts, another brown trout – this was only about 8 inches, but he sure put on a nice little show with a few leaps into the air and dives while I brought him in before releasing him.
And for the next 15 minutes, I ended up with several more fish on this fly – until about 9PM, when with one bad cast, the fly ended up in the foliage near the bank and I snapped the tippet trying to get it free. There were a couple of fellows upriver fishing, and it was getting late for me, so I thought I’d walk up to the path and let the fellows know that the action where I had been standing was bound to be better than where they were.
In all, it was a great day, and my wee son David was happy to see me when I arrived home. I’ve promised to take him fishing tomorrow.