Last Van Standing
It feels good to lie down in my bed for a nap after a late night and early rise. What was supposed to be a 3 hour fishing jaunt turned into a 6 hour ordeal, blame this on rising trout. The bed feels soft and warm as I lay the covers over my fatigued body, I can still smell the candela wrapped cigar aroma upon my moustache as I close my eyes in relaxation.
My last trout was a brown caught on a deep drifting brown woolly bugger. By now I was chilled to the bone from the past two hours or so wading thigh high in the cold water. There were times, as I stood casting; I thought my waders were leaking as the coldness felt suspiciously wet upon my skin. The chill in the air and a biting of a stirred up breeze penetrated my clothes, under my fishing vest, enough that there was very little warmth left. If it weren’t for the rising trout I would have been home hours ago.
Prior to that last brown I was casting Blue Wing Olive patterns to the occasional rising trout. It was a little after noon by then. The sky was still overcast as it was when I got to the creek about 8:30am. At home I had dressed warm in preparation for the cold morning but an extra sweatshirt was needed once I exited the van to check out the water conditions. By that time there were already 5 or so vehicles in the parking lot and a few more anglers out on the stream. Throughout the morning and early afternoon more fishermen arrived and took the places of those who had left. All in all there were at least 5 vehicles in the lot throughout the day.
The longevity of me sticking around was when a single trout was rising consistently while I was fishing buggers and nymphs beneath. The guy on the other side of the creek was hooking up, beneath, pretty regularly within the same deep run I was sharing with him. He was drifting a bugger beneath an indicator. It was if the trout were bunched up, as I heard him exclaim, as his fly rod arced with another hook up. I had caught a couple of browns near the location, swinging and stripping in a bugger, but he just had a better drift or a better shade of bugger. I couldn’t see any Mayflies on top of the water yet and being that no one would be bothering the rising trout, I continued to fish beneath. When I seen a couple more fish rise I took a better look and noticed a few BWO’s upon the surface water. I switched to a dry and it wasn’t that hard catching the first riser that I seen. After that it was time to try and pick off a few more. I had caught another just before the guy across the creek gave up and left. I went upstream and circled to the other side of the creek. I was casting blindly in a soft spot below and between the riffles when I got a good look at a trout rising to inspect my fly. At one time I watched as he back finned almost two feet before deciding not to take it. I wasn’t discouraged that he wouldn’t take it though. With each new dry fly pattern I would tie on I’d cast out towards him first. If he rose to inspect it I knew it was a good match and might fool other unwary trout. If he never took a look see, I didn’t spend too many casts downstream for any risers that I seen. Upon his inquisitiveness nature it didn’t take too many good casts to make a trout rise to my dry fly.
The G2 Scott rod, with weight forward floating line, casts the thin tippet and #18 BWO dries with smoothness and soft turn over of the line and leader. The biggest challenge was the occasional cross wind that blew downstream from the dam. I found out that the trout didn’t want the dry to land right on their noses but more up creek so they can see it coming at them. Casting up creek and trying to calculate windage, so the dry would drop up creek from the risers, wasn’t the only problem. The cross current, once everything fell upon the water surface, was a challenge also. Once the dry fly landed I had to get the line upstream of the fly and hoped that it would reach the risers zone without drag. When the breeze did kick up it gave the surface water a washboard effect which hid the line and any conspicuous flaws, either in the fly or slight drag. I managed to pick off three more trout on the dry before dropping the bugger for a last trout.
Before noon I only managed three but with the dry fly action after noon and the few I caught beneath made for a good pastime of trout fishing.
By the time I quit and got to the van the parking lot was void of all other vehicles. It was only around 3:30pm but I was sure that the cold weather, overcast sky and chilling breeze were a big factor in everyone else’s departure. This also took a toll on my body and influenced me to call it quits.
I rewarded myself with a Don Tomas Candela wrapped Cetros #2 for the ride home. The 18 year aged Talanga Valley Candela wrapper was a smooth and extra mellow smoke compared to the robust darker tobacco stogies I’ve been smoking.
When I got to the cross roads where route 322 and route 36 intersected I had already made my choice. Instead of turning right and getting on the interstate within a few minutes I went straight through the light. I took the long way home so I could enjoy the 6.5” x 42 green wrapped cigar.