Monday, May 29, 2017

Yellow Sally and Adams

Yellow Sally and Adams.

 After a quick breakfast we headed to the project area on Kettle Creek in hopes of a morning hatch. Well it never came about and nymph fishing was the norm again. 

   The sun was high and the temperature was quite warm. We wanted to fish a cooler mountain creek in the afternoon so we started to head down creek towards the truck before noon. Jeff was fishing a pool of water while I waded down creek and fished deeper water where available. Within vision of the truck I stuck around fishing while waiting for Jeff. With the sun above, and warm for the past couple of days, I decided to drift a beetle along the banks. I knotted on the only beetle I had on my fly patch and worked it along the bank. Watching the beetle drift cast after cast finally got one trout interested. It almost was too easy as I seen him rise and anticipated the take.

  We parked alongside the road and assembled our 7’ 3 weight rods for the small creek we would be fishing. We walked through the tall grass and as we got near the creek we both felt the coolness, under the shade of the trees, given off by the cooler mountain stream water. 

 Technical fly fishermen would say the best way to dry fly fish shallower mountain streams would be fishing upstream, high sticking as you wade up creek. Some may say it’s the only way to fish and catch trout. I, on the other hand, have learned that with stealth and little movement, downstream dry fly fishing is pretty productive also. I try to keep myself along the bank-side in the shadows and blend in with the background. I move slow and try not to kick up the silt along the shoreline. With my quick action Hardy Demon rod I can make snapping wrist casts without many limb and brush snagging from behind me. I have become very good with over the opposite shoulder casts when need be and I taught myself low profile sidearm casts to almost perfect placements. It all comes to not being afraid and lots of practice.

 Right away I notice Sulphurs , small grayish Mayflies, a few small caddis and a March Brown now and then flying about. My first choice is a small olive elk hair caddis. I knot this on my 6x tippet and look over the slow moving flat water before me. I make long casts towards the far bank, follow my dry with the rod tip, and keep an eye on the small caddis. After a few minutes, with no takers, I bring in the caddis and knot on a #18 Sulphur. I cast this out in a few areas I feel might hold trout but still no takers. I was beginning to think maybe my downstream fishing might not be so good of an idea. As I nip off the Sulphur I notice a Yellow Stone fly fluttering over the creek towards the far bank-side cliff. I look into my fly box and find a Yellow Sally. Fishing small brookie creeks a stimulator is a good choice. With the longer body Yellow Sally and yellow abdomen, it should be easy to see and hopefully a meaty dry to make a trout rise to the surface. I cast it out on to the flat water and get a feel for the weight and drift of the bigger choice. Looking downstream there are spots of sunrays that break through the shady canopy and sparkles the water like shining silverware. In these spots it is hard to see my dry but in most places it is very visible. Down creek there is a leafy tree branch that overhangs half the creek extending from the far bank. I can see a submerged flat rock that lays on the streambed but appears to have a ledge that is above the creek bottom. The water is maybe a little more than shin deep as a short riffling current flows above it. I make a delicate cast upon the riffles and let the Yellow Sally drift in the current. Even though there are no takers I wait till the Sally is far away from the small pocket before pulling the line back for another cast. My next drop is on this side of the riffles. The current pushes my dry into a slower pocket flow and it slows and wobbles on the surface. From the ledge I see a dark oblong object dart towards my fly and rises. It gobbles the Sally with a quick bite like a chicken pecking a piece of corn off the palm of my hand. A quick wrist set and the line tightens. The hooked fish gives a headshake and darts down creek in the shin deep water. The 3 weight bows with the weight of the fish and flexes with each sharp jolt of the fighting trout. It turns upstream and passes by in front of me. I lift the rod to keep tension on the fish. Without any hints it quickly turns and races downstream. It pulls line and I feel like I’m holding onto a kite string with the kite in a strong wind storm. After a few quirky maneuvers it tires and I’m able to bring it near. With an outstretched net I guide the trout over the wooden frame and into the net. A beauty of a brook trout puts a gleam in my eyes.

 The hook is stuck into its jaw and the fly dubbing and wings gets tattered when I get the hook undone. I slip the brook trout into the water and he quickly disappears on the release. I look for another Yellow Sally but can’t find one that fits to the size of my satisfaction.
 Many brook streams I fish I do well with a small Adams parachute. The white post is easy to see, it floats well and the gray body looks like many of the smaller midges you’ll find in these kinds of streams. I knot on a small Adam parachute and go to work.
 With stealth I wade down creek and pin point my casts where possible. There is no doubt some casts are dangerously close to hazardous branches but I try to stay calm and try not to get frustrated when I do snag up. My persistence pays off as I make casts after casts in unfamiliar water.

 The Adams bob up and over the riffles. A trout slaps at the dry like me attempting to catch a Mayfly in mid flight. I quickly wrist the rod tip upward and the line tightens. A trout fusses in the current but I calmly bring it to hand. 

 There’s an exposed branch across creek that keeps a slow pool of water safe from a cross creek cast. I have to get downstream from the branch to get a clear shot at the open pool. I slowly move, wading down creek keeping my profile to a minimum, until I feel I have a shot. It will take a tight loop to get under the canopy of branches above and a soft land of the dry as to not spook any trout within the pool. I make a couple of short false casts and whip a tight loop towards the pool. The dry falls short and I let the dry drift towards me. I pull the line back for my back cast and shoot a longer length of line out towards the pool. The long tippet falls over the pool with the Adams falling in a small wave that enters the pool. I bring in the fly line as is drifts towards me and watch the Adams. A trout sweeps from the side of the dry and mouths it. I quickly whip the rod backwards and the line straightens. I snicker with a stogie I hold tight between my lips. Smoke rises from the lit end as I bring in another frisky brookie.

 Down stream I come to a long wider section of water that flows and butts against a fallen tree that lays across the creek. The water before it is slowed and flat with little waves. I look behind me and have plenty of room for a long back cast. I make my cast towards the fallen tree and stop my cast way shy of the tree. I watch the Adams slow with the current in the flat water as I let line out with my left hand. A trout rises and nonchalantly sips it off the surface.

   I catch about 4 more trout letting the Adams drift towards the fallen tree before there are no more takers.
 I wade out to the far bank and walk on dry land around the fallen tree. Upon entering the creek, down from the fallen tree, I see there is a thinner limb that had Y’d from the thicker trunk. These are both above the surface crossing the creek but I see an opportunity to get a dry into the pool of water behind or even underneath the trunk and limb. I stand in the middle of the creek giving me a good hazard free back cast towards the fallen tree. I make a few casts and a couple of them land my Adams beneath the limbs but nothing rises to the surface. On another cast, beneath the tree, I watch as the dry slowly drifts downstream. I see a flash of a trout swim down creek past my fly and somewhere sits below. As the fly approaches the trout rises and sips it in like the last tiny marshmallow in a cup of hot chocolate. I whip back the length of line and …and…and the line tightens. Another battle and another trout comes to the net.

  Down creek further there is a line of pines that border the creek bank. Pine boughs overhang half the width of the creek. The water doesn’t look very deep but the water is well shadowed by the tall Hemlocks. Sidearm casts are the only way to get under its limbs.
 The dry lands ¾ of the way cross creek under the limbs. I watch as the Adams lazily floats upon the shaded water. I watch as the dry drifts in and out of the sunrays that filters through the limbs sparkling the water. I watch and wait for any surface splash or any dimpling swirl.



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