Sunday, July 21, 2019

Bass'n in the Heatwave

Bass’n in the Heatwave
7/20/2019

 
 My intentions were to cool off in the 90+ weather by float tubing and smallmouth fishing in the Clarion River. The heat index was to get to 105 degrees and I figured I might as well cool off floating in the river than just wading. When I got down to the river it was high, muddy and flowing fast from the overnight storm. With the heatwave, trout fishing was out of the question but I still wanted to fish and not sweating my butt off doing it. A friend has a pond I have bass fished many times that wasn’t too far away. It is fed by underground springs so that meant cool water.
It was about 9:30 am when I got to the pond in the woods. The gray morning clouds were soon to be taken over by the rising sun. I could see in the distance that streaks of white clouds were already heading my way. The temperature was about 69 degrees already. There was nearly a breeze felt so I knew once the day wore on the temperature would rise. Hopefully I could keep my body temperature cool and stay comfortable with my body half submerged in the water in my float tube.
I looked over the pond from the truck. The trees of green encircled the pond except from where I parked. Mike kept the grass cut from the field down to the pond for easy access for a vehicle. The water was high enough that it drained through the pipe at the far side of the pond. The shallow areas now had a foot or so of water so the bass would be visiting these areas often in search of food. There were slight wrinkles that moved across the water surface from a slight warm breeze now and then. The whole pond was in the shape of a large doughnut with a grassy island near the center. For now the trees on the far side shaded most of the pond but it wouldn’t last for long with the rising of the sun.
  My right shoulder and bicep was aching so I went to the dark side and broke out my conventional rod. ( Don’t be alarmed, within an hour and a half I was fly fishing.) I had taken an Aleve back and muscle pain relief pill but it hadn’t kicked in yet. I didn’t have my big bass lures with me just the smallmouth Rebel lures I use for river fishing. I had some frog poppers that I had made out of champagne corks and I was pretty sure I'd be able to cast those heavy corks with my bass rod.
  Down at the pond I put on my flippers and gently stepped into the water. Instantly the coolness circled my legs. I plopped into the float tube seat and the cool water hugged me as my wading pants and sleeveless shirt absorbed the water. I had a good feeling the heat of the day wasn’t going to be too much of a problem!
  In short I fished with the conventional bass rod for about an hour and a half until the pain relief started to work and my shoulder was feeling quite better. I had caught a couple bass on the champagne frog popper and even a blue gill on one of my Rebel crawdad lures before I decided to get my fly rod.
  I didn’t have any intentions on fishing for largemouth so I didn’t have my usual bass fly rod with me. I did have my 6 weight vapor rod and I was sure it would do fine. I knew I already had at least an 8lb tapered leader on it for fishing smallies so I added a short length of 8lb tippet to the end. I grabbed my popper and streamer boxes and headed back to the pond.
I started with frog poppers casting near the banks as I slowly circled the pond area. Within the first hour I lost one bass trying to retrieve it but did successfully hook into and land a small one on a frog popper.
 
As the sun rose the temperature rose. Even so I kept cool enough half submerged that I was comfortable. The hooking up wasn’t all that plentiful in the next couple of hours. I always had a hard time hooking largemouth, or keeping them hooked, and getting them to hand. I think, being a trout fishermen mostly, I don’t set the hook hard enough. Either that or I set the hook on the first sign of the take and not letting the bass clamp down on the popper. Though it’s nerve racking sometimes when I miss a take every once in a while I get the hook set and the fight begins. Like catching a trout on the dry, it’s just as exciting watch a bass engulf a popper upon the surface water.
Come the early evening the bass didn’t appear to be that hungry for a hearty meal. Sure I caught a few small ones and missed a few more but there was long pauses in between. More damselflies and dragon flies appeared as the day grew long. They would dart here and there flying just above the surface and onto the bladed grass that surrounded the pond. At times they would dive onto the surface water and fly upward just as fast. Every once in a while I would hear a soft popping gulp as a bluegill would be taking a bug off the surface. I decided to knot on a dry fly I had in my popper box and fish for the gills.



 Sure they weren’t bass but I was having some fun trying to hook these fish on that big dry fly. Well, it wasn’t long before I found out that these big bass like the dry fly also. Those small gulps I’ve been hearing, that I thought were gills, might have been largemouth snacking on the flies landing on the surface.

 My cast was long as the orange body dry fly was very visible as it followed the looped fly line. It touched down with a small splash and dimpled the water surface. It’s tall moose wing rose up from the surface and I watched and waited for the next bluegill to take a swipe at it. A soft breeze pushed my dry slowly across the water surface. From the distance I saw the dimple around my fly on the surface disappear in a gulp. I yanked back and the line tightened but didn’t give like it had hooking the bluegills. I thought maybe I had a good size gill until the fight was more aggressive and the fish wasn’t giving up so easy. A large mouth appeared briefly just below the surface before it turned and fought its way deeper. I knew it was a bass then so I gripped the rod a little tighter as the fish tugged and struggled with the line. It wasn’t all that big of a bass but it surprisingly took that dry fly!



 Now things were getting more interesting. Those small gulps I missed and thought were bluegills might have been bass. I didn’t nonchalantly pull back on a hook set any more. I’d give a good yanking hook set instead like I was hooking a steelhead. 

 I was casting near the center island when I saw more dragonflies around there. They would dart about as if chasing each other then eventually rest on a blade of high grass on the island. There was no doubt in my mind that bass were watching them from below just waiting for one to get near enough to snag it.
  I let a long cast cut threw the soft breeze and the dry fly landed just short of the island. The soft breeze slowly pushed the dry away from the bank and my fly disappeared in a vacuum like opening the drain of a filled kitchen sink. I yanked back and the top rod sections bowed downward. He pulled away towards the deeper water and I felt the float tube circle towards him. He exploded out of the water wiggling and waggling his entire body, mouth agape, trying to throw the hook. He plunged back into the pond splashing water in every direction. I held on tight feeling every thwarting tug. It was a short struggling skirmish before I got him close enough to handle.
 
  I was circling the pond casting towards the bank. I saw a few blades of grass move that were rising out of the water along the bank. Easily I finned my way out towards that direction trying not to disturb the water but close enough to make a long cast. My first couple of drops were close enough he should have seen the dry but he didn’t grab it. I made a couple of casts nearer to the grass but still nothing. I shot a cast more to the left and within a second or two he vacuumed it up like a loose feather being sucked into fan blade. I yanked back and the hook stuck. He darted out away from the shallower bank side and a wake followed. In turn my float tube turned with him and I gripped the rod tighter as if gripping a hammer ready to strike a blow. When the arced rod got into the mid section the pressure was too much and he swung around and splashed his way along the surface just out from me. I seen the fly just showing from his top lip and I was afraid playing too long I was going to lose him. I forced him to circle to my left where I could grab a hold of him while he was still submerged in the water. I was afraid to lift him too much with the rod that the fly would release. When he opened his mouth wide enough I reached down and snagged him trying to make sure I didn’t get too close to the hook.
 
 Maybe I fished another half hour without another bass that I called it quits. I took my time taking my gear to the truck and putting everything away. I changed out of my wet clothes and it felt good to be in dry clothes again. That’s when I realized how hot and humid it was outside. The cool pond water was a big relief to the outside temperature.
I finished off a Tight Line brew from Peter Straub brewery and grabbed a Prensado Lost Art cigar for the drive home. What turned out to be a depressing moment seeing the river high and muddy turned out for the best in my own opinion.




~doubletaper


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Alone in the Dark Waters

Alone in the Dark Water!
4//28-4/29/2019

  Sunday morning looked gloomy as I drove East on I80 and then South East on route 322. The clouds above was a sheet of pewter gray with streaks of blue that distinguished the cloud cover from the blue sky in the background. The weatherman claimed a cool day with a good chance of rain in the morning and just cloudy in the afternoon. Though I hadn’t hit any rain yet I always said the weatherman and the president could be wrong most of the time and still keep their job. The weatherman is usually a % right most of the time though. They learned if they throw in a 10% chance of rain or a 10% chance of sunshine or a 5% chance of snow before the day begins they’ll be right more often than not.
When I got to the dirt road towards the project section a turkey was standing in the middle of the road as if confused. The hen waddled nervously in front of me down the dirt road side to side as if it was leading me to a place to park. It didn’t want to go to the left towards the creek and the high bank to the right may have been to steep for it to climb. I followed her till we got to a flatter area to our right. She hopped onto the forest floor and disappeared through the open brush like the white rabbit hurriedly going to a very important date. I had brought my shotgun and camos to hunt spring gobbler Monday morning and this gave me encouragement that turkeys were in the area.
After parking it started to sprinkle. I put my fly boxes and stuff in my rain jacket and got my gear on. When I got to the creek the brown tea stained water flowed with just a ripple effect below the rougher water above. The pool was wide all the way to the tail out where it tumbled over exposed boulders and rocks. The far side was a combination of pines and laurel that overhung from the bank. The water beneath was as black as ink. The main flow was visible to the bottom of rocks and stones but because of the tea brown stain there wasn’t any fish to be identified anywhere. There wasn’t any fish rising but I wanted to dry fly fish so I offered a couple of different dries with no effect before I went to streamer fishing. I’ve fished this creek many time before so I was kind of prepared how to fish it as I waded down creek.
I made long casts downstream keeping my distance from my offering hoping the trout wouldn’t notice me. I always wondered, with the dark water, if the fish could see me through it though I wouldn’t be able to see them. I would wade slowly foot by foot over the stony bottom not to stir up dirt. Sometimes I was ankle deep and other times I got thigh deep in deeper pockets. I would hold the rod out towards the bank to get my Woolly Bugger in the darker water underneath the pine boughs and laurel where the trout would most likely be.

  Letting the bugger settle in the current and maybe a twitch or two was successful if there was a trout curious or just hungry for a meal. Sometimes the tug on the line was forceful and others were as if the trout was just sampling a little bit to taste whether it was to their satisfaction before gobbling it up.

 Slowly I moved trying to cover as much of the water as possible as I waded down creek. Now and than I’d catch a trout here or there but nothing to get too excited about

   The water started to get deeper than I remembered along the way. I heard a loud waterfalls ahead of me. When I turned the bend I noticed there was a beaver dam holding back the water. It was swampy to my right where the beaver cleared the trees leaving just stumps all the way to the road.
I casted out towards the banks and let the bugger swing trying to coax a trout out from cover into the open water. There was a slow deep looking bay to my left with laurel branches protruding half way around the pool. I made a long cast as far as I could into the slow bay. I was letting the current take my floating line which caused my Woolly Bugger to swing towards the open water. I felt just a slight bump and seen the line pull to my left. I yanked back the rod and felt a heavy fish on the tightened line. It gave a good fight in the open water with tugs and quick jerks. After a good skirmish I had to get it towards me in the stronger current I was thigh high deep in. I kept the rod low and played him towards my left as he tussled with the line and rod. Once near me I raised the rod and he swam past me upstream. I brought in line and kept the rod high as I grabbed my net and guided him into the basket.

 A fine brightly colored rainbow was a surprise to see.
  Just about in the middle of the dammed up water I seen my first rise. I wasn’t sure what he was after but I was going for him. I had lots of room for my back cast being the beaver cleared a lot of the trees to my right. I knotted on an extra piece of 5x tippet and to this I knotted on a Spruce Moth. I made a couple of long casts with ‘S’ bends in my line to make sure the moth got to the rising trout without drag. I watched the moth slowly drift down creek . The fish rose with authority and I yanked back the long length of line for the score. He scurried about in the open water and I got him to the net safely.
 
 I spent a little more time trying to find another hungry trout but didn’t find any. I walked out along the swampy area and made my way through the laurel and branches back to the creek below the dam.

 The creek narrowed in most places and thus deepened. Where the creek got wider it was usually shallow water. I kept with the same routine letting the bugger drift down creek from me twitching it every so often. Again I would catch or miss a few trout or maybe lose him trying to get him towards me in the rough water.

 After I got so far down creek I decided to go back to the truck and head down creek to an area where it widens to another big pool.
  The weather started to clear up some about 1:00. The sun actually peered out briefly just enough to hope for better fishing conditions and maybe a spring hatch or two. Before going down to the pool I lit up a stogie and decided to work the pool over for the time being.
 
 Down at the big pool I looked it over. There wasn’t anything going on as far as any rises. There were a few tiny midges flying about and a few tiny caddis appeared fluttering high above the water. I tied on a Spruce Moth and decided to give it a whirl.
I made one cast upstream from a big overhanging pine. The water darkened beneath the pine boughs and I figured this to be a good place for a trout to be hanging out. The Moth imitation landed softly on the water surface and drifted gingerly on the slow moving surface current. A trout snapped at the moth and I twitched back the long length of line. I could tell the trout wasn’t anything big but it darted and wrestled fiercely all the way to me.
 
 Well, if I can make one trout rise I didn’t see why I couldn’t make another. For an hour or so I casted out a few different dries. I have to admit I missed a couple that surprised me when I was ready to give up. I tried nymph fishing the slow water at times but mostly got snagged on the bottom and got frustrated with that. I knotted on a Para Adams and just started flinging it out with hope. Wouldn’t you know it? Back towards the tail out near the far bank a trout slapped at my Adams and this time the hook set. The trout scampered about before I got him to hand.

 After some time of going fishless I called it a day and went back and made some supper quick and easy. Kind of tailgating.

 After dinner I sat back and enjoyed a smooth cigar and my favorite Scotch Ale I had brought back from North Carolina some time ago.

 Cheers to a fine day fishing alone in the quietness of a small mountain creek. No phone, no internet not a single interruption!

Alone in the Dark Water
4/29/2019
 
  I was up early just as the morning sky started to brighten. I didn’t hesitate much and put on my heavy camo coat and stepped out in the brisk chilly outdoors. The sky was opening up to be looking like a nice calm day. White clouds floated softly above and reflecting light from the rising sun still hidden behind the mountain tops. I stepped out on the dirt road and gave a few yelps with my turkey call listening for any sounds of a gobbler. All I heard was morning tweety birds and the flow of the creek. Back in the truck I let the insides warm a bit. The truck thermometer read 28*. For the next hour or so I drove and stopped here or there and gave a couple of yelps with the turkey call. At times I’d walk up the road and again give a few calls and wait for an answer. I even crossed a bridge and drove almost to the top of the hill overlooking the valley below. I waited a few minutes and gave a few more yelps. Any gobbler in the valley that was interested would have very easily been able to hear me. Likewise, if he gobbled I should have been able to hear him. With no responses it was time to go back where I was camping and have some breakfast.
I started water to boil in my tea kettle while I exchanged fly boxes and stuff from my rain jacket to my fishing vest. After the water boiled I made an instant cup of coffee and made myself some oatmeal. After breakfast I put together my 4 weight Hardy fly rod and my waders and was ready to catch some trout. I walked down the path that lead to the slow moving pool of water. I didn’t expect anything flying about in the cold morning chill but I decided to spend some time trying to get a trout to rise anyhow.
I threw out an assortment of small flies covering the section pretty thoroughly. One cast, upstream into the wavy current entering the slow pool, I dropped my Picket Pin offering with a small Hare’s Ear as a dropper. The water looked maybe knee high at the deepest. I was able too see the bottom with the sun rays penetrating the brown tea stained water. The Picket Pin was riding atop the waves for some reason with the Hares Ear below. I watched a trout swim to the surface and quickly snatch up the Picket Pin before it passed by. I wristed the rod downstream and the line tightened as I watched the trout turn with the hook set. It scampered about in the rolling current but wasn’t much trouble getting him to hand. 

 I know I spent the next 3 hours casting dry flies and wet flies into the pool of water. I watched the sun rise over the mountain tops, over the trees and partially exposing the pool I was fishing in with bright sunshine. A few small caddis fluttered about and I seen a few midge type mayflies rise from the surface water. I offered a few of my own midge ties and small caddis but wasn’t getting anything interested. Finally I saw a fish rise just about mid creek in a deeper section I couldn’t see the bottom. I tied on an Elk Hair Caddis and let it drift to the riser. He rose to inspect it but refused it and dropped deep. After a few more casts he finally gave in and took the surface drifting caddis without much investigating. I've been known to throw enough dry flies of the same kind to look like there’s a hatch going on. Maybe I convinced this trout as such. I got a good hook set and he gave me a good fighting battle before bringing him to the net.
 
 After a dry spell of no action I decided to drive up creek and stroll along downstream bugger fishing as I did the day before. If I seen a fish rise I would definitely try for him with a dry fly but I didn’t get my hopes up.
Wading down creek I covered the same areas in the same manner I did the day before. I didn’t catch as many trout but I did come across a few more that were anguish to take a swimming Woolly Bugger. 

 One cast I was working the Woolly Bugger under a long set of overhanging pine bows. it’s one of those times where I knew there had to be a trout lurking in the in stained water in the shadows of the boughs. I twitched the bugger and stripped it in slowly like a bait fish just swimming nonchalantly up through the current. At times I raised the rod and let the bugger drag the top of the surface current. I reached my fly rod out towards the far bank as far a possible and let the bugger hold in the current beneath beneath the boughs for sometime before skirting it towards the midsection of the creek as if swimming away from danger. Wham, a trout grabs the bugger with a forceful sweeping grab that moves the fly line swiftly to my right. I give a little more of a tug back to make sure the hook is set good and let the trout play his game. He takes off down creek with a surge of a sports car in seconds flat. Line pulls from the spool and I quickly put tension on the line trying to keep the trout from venturing too far downstream into the shallower wavy current. It feels the pressure and turned back under the overhanging pine boughs. I’m not sure what hazards lie beneath so I swing the rod to my right level with the water trying to coax him away from the left side of the bank. He gives a jolting tug that arcs the rod deeper towards the midsection as if he doesn’t want to follow but reluctantly gives in a comes out from below the pines. Mid current I got him pretty much under control though he’s still putting up with short tugs. I slowly step towards the right bank to get clear of the pine boughs above me. Lifting the rod clear of the pines the trout swims towards me and I’m able to net him without much of a problem. His big head and large fan tail seamed out of proportion to the rest of his slim body. 

 As I fish downstream the wind picks up kind of fierce at times shaking the flexible pine boughs and laurel that line the creek. Along with it comes a chill in the air that makes me think a storm is approaching. All of a sudden the wind quits and sun rays shoots through the canopy of limbs and laurel like lightening bolt frozen in time upon the water.
I caught a hungry chub on one cast and my last trout of the day was a wild brook trout who looked like it took more than it could of chewed of my #10 4x long Woolly Bugger.


 It was a long somber drive home with the reality that work was approaching tomorrow and the rest of the week.

~doubletaper.






Friday, April 26, 2019

Thursday on YWC, Day 1


5 Days in Clinton and Potter Country
Thursday on YWC, Day 1

 
 I had 5 days off for my Easter Birthday vacation. No other plans were made but to do what I love to do and that’s fishing, camping and enjoying myself. This year I selected Clinton and Potter County to enjoy my Easter/Birthday vacation, fish a variety of cricks, camp out, drink and eat!!!
On Thursday I made a quick stop at DuBois Harley for some needed parts and stopped at Featherman Creations shop in Penfield. The owner was very helpful and very knowledgeable in fly fishing and tying. He plans on expanding his fly fishing equipment and tying material as his business grows. After that I was headed to YWC in Clinton County.
  
 The water gushed through the narrow channel between the near steep bank and the high bank on the other side of the creek. The water gurgled, complained and splashed as it flowed over downed logs. It quieted some before banking off the steep cliff it flowed into. From there the main body of water flowed to my left into a long stretch that opened up into a softer pool of water. Near me the water swirled into a whirlpool but the rest of the stretch was calm except the riffles along the steep rocky cliff under the pines on the far side. My second cast landed my weighted bugger into the swift water before the cliff. I had a lot of slack in my line to make sure my bugger dropped deep before following the current along the rocky cliff. As the arc in my line swung it started to straighten at the end of the swing. I stripped it towards me slowly and I felt a tug as my line twitched. I quickly yanked back on the 4 weight, seven and half foot Powell rod and my first fish was tugging and scurrying about on the taut line. Once in the slower current he was less aggressive and came in handily. I went to take a picture but found that I forgot to reprogram the camera with day, month, year and time when I replaced the battery. I let my first trout swim free. I went back to the truck to reprogram my camera and returned to the same spot.
I spent about 5 minutes trying to coax another one. On one cast, after the swing the line leveled out down stream. I was slowly stripping my offering towards me letting the weighted bugger sink deeper before stripping it in again. I noticed on the one slow strip the floating line sunk a little deeper and I felt a little resistance. I immediately pulled back on the line and lifted the rod knowing there was nothing to snag on the bottom of the deep back eddy. The rod bent near the mid section and the fight was on. The trout gave a left head shake and headed towards the swifter current near the cliff wall. I countered with switching the rod to my left and let some line slip through my tension fingers. In the swift current he turned down stream and into the slower flow. It was a bit dangerous for me to wade down creek with submerged branches near my feet so I moved the rod upstream to my right. He took that as an encouragement and sprinted into the current as if I gave him a green light at a drag strip. I quickly stripped in long lengths of line down in front of me as the trout passed me by. He settled in a deep seam between the faster current and slower current. I quickly reeled in line while pinching tightened line between my left fingers and cork grip. Once I got all the slack line on the spool I gave him a tug to make sure he knew I was still here and then gave a sharp right upstream with the rod tip. He head shook and started forward. I reared the rod back and he followed. I stripped in more line with my free hand till we were hip to nose. I reached down and netted him. He gave a couple of flips in the net like a pancake being flipped in the air and then settled in the bottom of the net. 

 I waded and cast the bugger along the cliff in the same manner to the falls below without another strike.
  From above the falls I casted the bugger into the tail out and stripped it towards me. I hooked up with rainbows often enough that kept me busy. They were taking my bugger for a meal like their numbers being called at a busy fast food restaurant. I’d miss one now and then but that just kept me from bending over to net them and that was fine with me.

 
 After an hour or two of that I went below the falls and started to drift a San Juan worm and sucker spawn. I’d cast into the tumbling water that fell from the falls and drifted my offering by me. I picked off a few more on the sucker spawn.


  After a while I decided to wade and fish down creek. The water was shallower and riffled with rolling waves. There were pocket waters here and there but I didn’t have any takers. I returned to the truck briefly and got a snack and a stogie.
After a while I decided to wade and fish down creek. The water was shallower and riffled with rolling waves. There were pocket waters here and there but I didn’t have any takers. I returned to the truck briefly and got a snack and a stogie.

  Back at the water I decided to try some dry fly fishing though there wasn’t a fish rising. There were a few mayflies in the air but as I said I couldn’t see anything rising. I positioned myself in the tail out in shin deep water. I knotted on a spruce moth hoping something would rise to it. I made cast after cast in the softer current between the rough water flowing at me. Sure enough one fish rose and I was Jerry on the spot. A quick swift pulling back on the rod and the line tightened. The fish reared towards me and shown it’s colors as it rose into the air. It splashed down and headed deep towards the falling water. I turned it around pretty easily and it headed to the bank in the shallower tail out. A couple of skirmishes and my first dry fly catch was in the net.
 
 Well that put a big smile on my face. I cast the moth a couple of times without any more risers. My stomach was growling for food so I returned to dry land and headed for the truck. Looking over the water above the falls it appeared it had dropped some. I figured I’d give it a couple more tries with a bugger.
  My cast was in the swifter current that exited the channel where I began my fishing when I arrived. In the same manner I let a lot of slack line out so the weighted bugger would fall deep. It skirted the rock cliff and leveled out far into the slower current. Something grabbed the bugger as if it wanted to rip the rod from my hand. I had a tight grip so that wasn’t going to happen. The rod arced into the mid section and I knew I had a good fish. It darted beneath the swifter current towards the cliff. From there it swam into the current with head shakes and weighted tugs. I held tight on the bent rod and let him scurry about and fight the arcing rod only giving him line when I felt too much tension on the rod. It turned down creek and some line pulled off the spool. I put a little more tension between my fingers and he turned up creek with a few more head tugs. He scurried about some more as I was bringing him towards me. Nearer me he gave a couple of trying escapes when I had the net in the water. I could feel the rod arc a little bit more but he was pretty tuckered out by the time I netted him.
 
  I held him in the water facing upstream until I felt a good tail swat and a push into the current. He swam away to be caught another day.
After dinner I took a walk up the road just to see the conditions near the bridge. There was a young fisherman nymphing the water by the bridge. We talked a bit before I headed back to my truck. Tomorrow’s another day. I was to meet Jeff Friday morning in God’s Country on Kettle Creek so I turned in early.

~doubletaper

Friday, April 12, 2019

Green With Envy

Green With Envy
Early April 2019


 
 When I got down to the creek I saw the water was of a greenish tint. Not too dark that I’ll have to get my offering right in front of their noses but clear enough trout should be able to spot my offering some distance away. The creek was flowing on the high side and kind of fast but nothing to be doubtful of. I looked upstream and down the creek and, except for the couple about 150 yards up creek, I was the only one on the water. As far as I was concerned everything looked promising. I felt excited as a kid that just found a frog pond on the property he now lives on.

  The water flowed in a washboard effect clear across stream and with the sun shining down made a diamond reflection that sparkled the small rolling waves. The sky was sapphire blue as far as my eyes could see with cotton like cumulus clouds drifting calmly and at times throwing shadows upon the earth.

  There was a constant soft breeze that at times blew a bit harsh causing tree branches that lined the creek to rattle and fallen leaves to scamper along the forest floor like a nervous pine squirrel in haste.

  Upon the bank I threaded the fly line and leader through the rod guide and eyes. I adjusted the reel drag till it felt sufficient. I knotted on a Fas-Snap to the 4x tippet and clipped on a weighted bead head Woolly Bugger. I added a couple of twist on lead strips to the leader to make sure my offering gets down in the water column. I stepped off the bank in ankle deep water and I was ready to have some catching fun like that imaginary kid at the frog pond. I waded out till I was about thigh high deep. I steadied myself and made sure I had a good foothold before my fist cast as the current kept an even push against my thighs. 
 
  I remember I had three strikes in the first 5 minutes or so and wasn’t able to hook a one. I brought in the bugger and looked it over. The point looked sharp enough but I honed it a little with the small sharpening stone I keep in my pocket for such occasions. Within a few more minutes I was hooking fish on occasion. They fought well and it was a real challenge getting them towards me in the swift current. Once near me I had to maneuver the rod and net to get the lively trout inside. I suppose it would be like trying to net a bat in a belfry while trying to keep balance on a step ladder. Every so often the trout stayed hooked and I was able to net such a catch. 


 
 I fished further down creek but wasn’t having any takers so I returned where I started out. I added a bit more weight and thought maybe it might just get a little lower in the water column. Also I figured with the sun being out for a few hours could have warmed up the water a few more degrees and might have gotten a few trout to be more mobile and hungry.




 When the trout appeared to stop chasing the Woolly Buggers I decided to go to the darker side and started nymph fishing. Throughout the next few hours I nymph fished long stretches of creek. With the swift and greenish water my decision was to knot on a brighter sucker spawn for my top offering to attract a curious trout. If they weren’t interested in the bright spawn I had a nymph or San Juan worm for my dropper which could look a little more natural in the water. I had to change colors and nymphs often to get the picky trout to take but I believe it was my boondoggle idea that kept me busy enough catching trout now and then.

 





 Some trout were more active than others. The bright sun rays reflected off their bodies as they went air born but only for a split second before they plunged back into the swift current to do battle beneath.




 Come the early evening the bite really slowed down. The wind had picked up some and it was a bit more difficult to get my cast where I wanted it to go. With the sun still bright though, there were a few black stoneflies fluttering about. I figured maybe the trout, without sore lips, were keying on the nymphs. I knotted on a Picket Pin with a black stone dropper but couldn’t get a hit. After another fifteen minutes I called it a day and headed back to the truck.



~doubletaper