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Woke at 3:45am on an air mattress with a dog snout in my face. Liz and I stayed at her parents house after a late evening dinner so I could be closer to optimum Trico water. I woke and readied my gear and mental state while Liz lay sleeping until 4:15am when I abruptly woke her with the line “Time to go, Trico’s wait for no one.” She dropped me of at Wendy B’s house at 4:35am then drove home to fall back asleep. Wendy B. and I left promptly for Trico rich trout water. Onstream at ~5:35am we rigged rods as the sun came up around us while drinking coffee and swapping stories. Once geared we assessed the creek and with no Trico’s about we headed downstream through head high grass wet with the morning dew. We hiked until it seemed we had put enough distance between us and the vehicle to make for a full morning. With the only visible bugs around being borderline microscopic and the fact that the Trico’s hadn’t made an appearance yet I rigged a #8 Olive SMB, third cast next to a small rock outcropping pulled a 10inch brown from the [singlepic id=2822 w=340 h=260 float=right]stream. Landing the fish I saw the first clear rise for a Trico. I took a water temp of ~62°F at 7:07am after the first rises were observed. Very few if any spinners were visible in the air, over the course of the next hour I tossed the SMB and a #8 Hairball with minimal success.
At ~8am the cloud began to form, this event is one to witness as photographs and video do the human eye no justice. Fish were surfacing in a regular rhythm but not at the boiling rate I was expecting to see. Wendy B. and I split up to fish runs with rising fish on them, shortly after I got my first of a handful on a #20 Trico Spinner I had tied last year for mornings just like this. From 8:30am until 10am fish were seen rising but getting a strike required precision and stealth, unlike the previous time I had witnessed this event the fish were skittish and would spook easily despite the bounty lying in the surface film. I could see them float past and yet the fish remained hesitant to take an imitation. I scooped a couple up for comparison and though my tails were a bit long and the body color Black rather than a Charcoal I thought my imitations were in the ball park. We moved further upstream after the cloud grew ever larger only to find another fella enjoying the spot we had planned to fish, the consequence was excellent. Forced to move on [singlepic id=2815 w=400 h=320 float=left]rather than disturb the other angler we fished upstream and saw water new to both of us. Trico’s were dying off in the upstream reaches but the handful of fish we found rising seemed much more receptive to our offerings, a creel was being filled in short order.
Somewhere around 10:30am the Trico’s all but disappeared, the only signs they were here were stuck in spiderwebs along the creek bank. A truly awe inspiring event to see a Trico spinner-fall. If you haven’t, I suggest setting the alarm clock and making this morning appointment, it’s worth it. With dry flies out and two fly nymph rigs in play Wendy proceeded to school me landing 5:1 easy on me, something was off and a particular tasty run gave up many fish to my friend but refused to let me land much more than a single 6inch brown despite my best efforts. The worst came when a dogger was hooked on my lead fly (#8 Hairball) only to escape when the 6inch fish mentioned above swooped in to tag the trailer (#16 Black PT), somewhere in the ensuing fight tension was released and the dogger swam away unscathed and un-photographed leaving me holding the 6inch fish. The consolation was that we both got to see the whole thing go down which more than made up for the lack of big brown stink on my hands. With the morning fading, the sun and temperature rising combined with creek chubs becoming ever more aggressive we called it a day and a good one at that. Thanks for the Trico trip Wendy, a good time as expected. This must become a yearly event, it is for the bugs and fish anyway, mid as well join in.
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