Fished the mid-morning to afternoon spot 9am-12:30pm roughly. Got to the creek, figured I’d stick with what was working…nymphs. Spent sometime scanning for mayflies, saw a couple and along with them a few caddis. Watched a few random rises occur as I hiked downstream. I chose the same section of creek I had fished the last time I was out for two reasons…1. I like to see how a hatch progresses on a creek. With the warmer airtemp I opted to go earlier to see if any more Lt. Hendricksons would come off. 2. The last time I was here I felt like I underestimated the depth in many locations and as a result I was looking for redemption. The same rig was applied, #14 Orange Scud and a trailing #16 Bead Head PT. These were the last two flies I fished two days prior and with little pushing me to fish anything else at the very least they were already prepared and thus I saved myself the time of tying two knots. Had I saw more of a reason to fish a dry fly or a different nymph I would have. Second cast and I was into fish, that’s nymphing for you.
Most were small but all robust. Little spotted cherubs, as if they had been recently well fed. If I had the time to swing home after I would have likely knocked a handful of the 10inch fish for dinner and throroguly examined stomach contents post mortum to determine more precisely what had been the source. As it were I could not store the fish and so to the creek they returned. I saw fewer mayflies this morning and a few more caddis. The nymphing was steady for the first hour, most of the fish opted for the #14 Orange Scud. I added weight to force my flies down deeper and allowed for longer drifts to compensate for the increased depth I had noted the last time I was here. Fish ate the nymphs, the orange scud more than the PT. Sunny skies, low wind, warm. An all around enjoyable morning on the creek.
After a bit I swapped to a #18 Charcoal Bodied EHC and took a few risers, mostly small 6-8inch browns. I continued the day switching between a handful of different trailers following the orange scud and the caddis dry fly. The nymphing slowed a bit as the morning wore on, the dry fly worked where the nymphs didn’t and visa versa. Closer to noon I started tossing a #14 Black Beetle and it was promptly slammed several times then lost on a larger more aggressive fish… That was the cue to head out for me.
Couple of side notes: While nymphing with the two fly rig I landed a 10inch brown on the orange scud and as I was landing, unhooking and releasing the fish I looked down to see something yellow near the tail. Get this… it was my #16 Brass Bodied Hares Ear from two days prior. I thought I lost the fly when I had doubled up nymphing but instead when I set the hook on the first fish I must have snagged this fish. The resulting struggle broke the trailing fly loose and almost 48hrs later I find it, in this trout almost 100yards upstream from where I lost it. What do you suppose the odds are on that and should I go by a lottery ticket? I’m glad I was able to remove the hook with minimal damage, surprised it was still there considering I had pinched the barb.
I spent a fair amount of the morning sitting and watching a handful of interesting sights. Couldn’t get enough of a honey bee rolling in the pollen on an almost spent dandelion. It didn’t matter how close I got to this fella with my lens he couldn’t care less. I sat and watched tadpoles eat from the surface scum on a small pond for a while, interesting how they change, grow appendages then become frogs. Speaking of frogs…there were a ton about. It got me thinking night fishing… Lastly I watched for close to 10 minutes a pair of dragon flies chase each other around a meadow. I sat hunkered in the tall grass waiting for the moment when one might land close enough for a decent photograph which despite my effort did not happen. I did however get to watch the dance they performed, one would land and the other come up behind, kick it off into the air then they would meet and join for a brief moment before dropping back down to split apart and settle on another piece of grass. I could have watched that for a while longer but they flew off not to be found again.
Photo Credit: Driftless Exposure