Hit the water for a short time today. Water clarity was superb, the temp was ~53 on arrival and it warmed to ~57 at noon. No bugs hatching when I got on site so I took the usual riffle sample and found a fair amount of Ephemerella nymphs still clinging to rocks with full wing pads, this is good, recent rains didn’t wipe the rest out. This hatch will be still going on for a while but not as heavy as previous weeks. I found free-living caddis larva and with that set myself up to nymph. Lead fly, Caddis larva pattern and the point man would be the standard Swimming PT nymph I’ve been fishing for what seems like a month now. I used a non-flashback PT that was more on the Brown/Red side due to the fact that I found several more Rotunda nymphs over Invaria which are almost black in color. Ended up taking fish on both but the PT was the clear winner The question is, was it because it was the deeper of the two flies?
I decided to take a different approach on a favorite run of mine. I went with an indicator rig and thinking to what a wise man recently said to me I moved to put myself in a position to cast 3-4 feet above the start of the run, in the riffle. My flies were about 4-5ft under my indicator and weighted with only one extra small split shot but enough to get down to the trout, cooler water temps and a bit of observation told me to go to the briny deep if you know what I mean? Immediately I lost one take, four small fish later I was enjoying the sun. I kept at it, I know there are bigger fish in this spot I just had to meet their friends first. Sure enough I rolled a bigger trout but lost due to the fact that I fumbled with my line and let some slack allow for the removal of a barbless hook. I waited a bit and went at it again, same approach, looking for the best cast far up into the riffle for a good drift. I pulled out three more and then I got eager and lost a rig to some plants hanging above the hole.
I tied on new tippet and flies and took another water temp, it had risen 4-5 degrees. I was expecting to see Light Hendricksons show up any minute, in the mean time the nymphing was too good to pass up. I went back at it and on the second cast I put another rig in the same plant…I took a deep breath. In these situations I usually try to think about how I could be watching tv or working. I tied everything on again, second drift through the sweet spot and I had the bigger trout. Probably 16in and beautiful, bright red spots. I made a few more casts and sure enough planted one more rig in the same plant, this time rather than breaking it off I went and retrieved it and my two other rigs knowing I would have to blow the hole, this is me accepting stream karma, move on. I found my other flies and an interesting looking bug near one of them, I thought he looked sweet so I took a picture. I took at least two more out after that from another hole upstream but didn’t linger, I had yard work to tend to. Before I left I did see Light Hendricksons coming off but I didn’t see rising trout, I’m sure had I stuck around I would have.