Liz decided to come fishing with me Friday after she finished work. I rigged a spinner rod for her and I went light expecting to toss a few streamers and not much else. Liz is very allergic to poison Ivy and so we try to fish in locations that don’t contain any. We hit one of my usual haunts, get that, I’ve been doing this long enough for me to start saying that. I rigged Liz with a rooster tail and set her loose on fish, the last time I did this I ended up losing the fish count 2:1. We saw them think about taking it time and time again, she missed a strike or two but no fish. I rigged an olive wooly bugger but before I could get it wet I saw rising fish, watching I switched up. Nothing.
We moved on. I had a plan to stop at two points but somehow Liz managed to get me to swing through a different part of the stream and what came as a result will never be forgotten. We pulled over to trout, rising, launching. The Grey Caddis were on, full on. I’ve seen hatching flies before but nothing like this. The flies were thick, I know it gets thicker for some hatches but for what I’ve seen this was the thickest I’ve encountered, crawling on my legs, in my hair. I had no problem with it but Liz was unimpressed. I franticly re-rigged my dry fly and set to work. Liz began taking video and pictures for me as I started swinging. I would call the feeling, hatch jitters. I’m new to this and got excited, this honestly resulted in several crappy casts and a few lost flies. In the interim I landed over 16 trout, most were small between 6-10inches but a few larger were had. The action was so consistent that Liz even tried the fly rod again, seeing me pick a trout up almost every cast must have motivated her. Unfortunately, I was unable to help her get a trout on the fly.
After fishing the hatch for forty minutes the action slowed to a crawl. I figured I had put the fish down, but these fish were so taken with the hatch they seemed like they couldn’t have been put down. Looking back I think it may have just been a lull in the hatch, we saw less caddis hatching during this time. As we waited and watched Liz and I sat and laughed at the frantic state I had been in. Watching the trout swim and strike your fly almost every time it lands in front of your fly line is awesome, this time is spent landing fish rather than casting. I haven’t been in this situation before and it took me off guard, I fumbled and lost probably half of the fish I could have seen but I learned to relax and just before we were going to get in the truck to go they started up again. She actually told me to “rig up”, thats sexy man. I caught a few more before looming thunder clouds kicked us off the water. We left the rising trout and all the caddis behind to weather the storm.
We made it home and re-seeded our back yard and watched the rain come down, something that was bitter sweet. I wanted rain for the water level around here but at the same time I wanted one more chance at that hatch. I somehow managed to get clearance to head back the next day with the dog, Liz and Mike in tow. They kept the dog occupied and I managed to hit the same hatch again, this time it was much smaller, not sure if it was temp/weather related or if it was just that most had already hatched. Water conditions were good, clean and clear despite the rain. I had to work harder today, the fish weren’t as eager to smack anything that hit the surface. I managed to land several smaller trout, the larger ones must have been staying out of the surface game, probably related to amount of food with regard to calories spent to get that dinner. I picked up close to a dozen more and smiled, two days of tossing tiny light dry flies. Somehow I was given a special early birthday present.
This video is symbolic of that frantic, heart pounding rush that I felt when I realized what I was in the middle of. The quality isn’t the best but I think it serves its purpose and sure gives me a smile watching it. Note: What looks like blurry snow near the end of the video is the swarm surrounding us on the rocks. Thanks to Liz for filming in awe as I worked the fly rod to have one of my best days on the water. Damn I am lucky as hell.