Not much to report, recent rains have done little to muddy water or raise flows much. Fished the Grey Caddis hatch again, observed two of the same caddis but one in a size 16 and one about a 20-22. I’m curious if they are two of the same variety of caddis but two different sub-varieties that would have similar hatching time/characteristics but produce one small and one larger caddis. It was nice to look over at Liz while fishing, she landed two smaller trout after I fished the hatch.
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.
Fished during the afternoon, had a few hours to take from work and decided the sun had to win. I fished spots that I fished last June when I began fly fishing seriously. I drove from spot to spot just checking things out making a few casts here and there. Today the sun made it so nice I didn’t even put waders on, I just fished from the bank in jeans and a t-shirt. Eventually I migrated to a spot I’ve been dying to see since the winter regs have loosened their grip on my fishing locations. I did put on the waders for a bit but had I brought the water shoes I’ve been wanting to try I probably would have wet waded across the few spots it was needed.
I pulled a nice brown, probably 16″, he jumped a few times, landed with a thud and when I got him to the banks he was so…thick. The thickest trout I’ve caught, that was cool but knowing I have many to catch I put him back right away and got to it. I picked off a few more before heading in. I fished for two hours and didn’t pick a single bug. I’ve been fishing the leech alot as of late, I guess just using it in different circumstances but I feel like I need to be working on my nymphing.
Hit the water for two short but sweet hours this morning after I dropped Liz off from work. This stream has a very different personality than the previous stream I hit the last two times I went out. I love meeting water and figuring out all the angles. What am I finding in the water? Substrates? Macros? I look at everything and take mental notes and lots of pictures. I took the water temp on arrival, alittle higher than expected. I threw the leech on knowing I would have to have some good casts to land a fish here, this place was again crystal clear due to lack of rain.
I made some good casts with the marabou leech and took a nice fat brown. Made a few more and got strikes but couldn’t land two fish I had on, one of which I think was a brookie. I took bug samples finding this creek to have alot more mayfly nymphs of a variety I’m not 100% sure on at the moment. I will be researching and determining the species later. I made another run at it with the leech but time was running out and obligations working on the yard and garden were calling.
Making this a quick report due to two factors, 1 same stream from last report and 2 lack of time. I hit the stream at 9am and went through my ritual. I assessed the water temp and stream situation, the lack of rain here is keeping water levels low and crystal clear. I fished the leech almost all day but today was more about covering ground than fishing. I wanted to see as much of this place as I could.
I fished as I went and picked up browns as I enjoyed the warm sun, I think fishing the leech has improved my casting. I ate lunch in the sun on a rock watching trout take what I believe were baetis nymphs from the drift. At noon the fish were active with water temps around 47 and the BWO’s were coming soon.
I saw geological features that I didn’t know Minnesota had and saw beautiful fish as I went. Made it as far as I thought was good for the day and took a moment to take everything in, something about being in a place far away from others, far from cell phone reception. Interesting how something so peaceful can be almost freighting when you realize your so far from others.
- What is it?
- Is it native?
- Are the dots on its face/body/fins a disease?
- Why did I find them only in one section of stream?
My only opinion of these fish is they are a pain in the ass. Every time I get a strike and set the hook a little chub comes flying at me. It makes getting hit up less exciting I guess.
The baetis came at around 1:15pm due to warmer air temp. It lasted until 3pm but I had a difficult time finding rising fish and I wasn’t spooking them. I fished a dry for a while and got no where but I still had a great day. I love this. Never did take a brookie but had another excellent day. Note: I do not take this time for granted, it is precious little and I look twice at everything so I remember it tomorrow.
“Sweet-As” is what they say in New Zeland when you jump out of a plane at 12,000ft or go over a large waterfall in a raft, this is how I would describe my time on Friday. I took off early (this summer I plan on spending a few days on the water at 6am) and got to the site at 9am, alittle later than planed but just fine. I hiked in and started, first an assessment of the situation. Water temp was 42degrees and crystal clear. Low flows and a breeze with the barometer at 28.82 (I’m trying to take note of changes in the pressure to indicate hatching conditions). With this I figured nothing much would be happening for a while, to be expected.
I took samples, a ton of Baetis just ready to blow, I also took a ph sample for my records. I rigged up the pink patrick with a smalled Baetis trailer and headed downstream to fish the section I knew. Made some good casts, really starting to love my roll cast and I’m looking forward to an 8’6″ rod when the time comes. Didn’t get much and decided to switch to a marabou leech and move upstream. First run I sent it through pulled a smaller brown, I knew I was onto something. The cooler water temps I think kept the fish from moving for a strike unless the meal was worth the effort. Going big was the ticket biding my time until conditions were right.
I moved upstream out of Dinosaur land and into the head water section of this stream. I’d been saving this for just this moment, my first day of the beginning of the rest of the season. Brilliant! So many excellent options for fish, runs, pools around every turn. I worked upstream fishing the leech pulling a few here and there, took a nice fat male brown and at least one over 16″. I made it finally to what I am going to refer to as “The Wall”. I just took pictures and looked around, I hadn’t seen anything like it and my pictures don’t do it justice. I could have fished it but I just figured I’d save it for another day. I hiked back out.
Picked trash on my way and made good time. I decided to stop at a favorite spot and I tried the leech again, nothing. Again, nothing. Hmmm….oh yea…water temp. 48 degrees, Baetis. Sure enough just as I was pulling the thermometer from the drink I saw one float past. The trout had keyed in on the Baetis and knowing they could get an easy meal sitting in feeding lanes there was no incentive to strike my leech anymore. This was awesome, I stood and watched them wriggle out of their shucks and float on the surface. I took some excellent photo’s and just watched the bugs, both midge and Baetis coming off, this was at exactly 1:23pm. I spent too much time standing in the middle of the hatch taking pictures and samples I actually ran out of time to fish it and headed out but I was very pleased with the day. It was fun enough to stand in the middle of the hatch with fish surfacing around me. I hiked out at 2:20pm, felt good to fish this again. Sweet-As.