Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hexagon Fish'n

Hexagon Fish’n

  I took the vintage glass Wonderod out last week. It was like a guy taken his old big Buick or old heavy Thunderbird for a cruise through the neighborhood. This past weekend I decided to dust off the ole’ hexagon bamboo and take it for a stroll. This would be like taken an old Model A or Model T out just to keep it from rotting away in a dark corner of the garage. Sure the rod itself has been refurbished but than again you don’t find many old Model A or T’s that haven’t been reconditioned to road worthy. Slow, fragile and a bit harder to control compared to today’s modern trout rods but none the less it looked to be a good dry day to give it a whirl.
 When I got to the park, of the fly fishing only project waters, a guy was getting ready to leave. In conversation he mentioned he caught only one trout on a nymph. He also mentioned that he had seen a few risers up creek and pointed at the location near the bank under the autumn trees.
 Back at the truck I took out the cardboard tube and unveiled the 5 weight bamboo fly rod. After assembling it I got my gear on and headed down to the creek. Leaves were scattered about the surface water like stale potato chips around a morning camping site. The tail water was low but cold from the cool mountain streams that fed the stream above the dam. I decided to start with nymphs in the deeper water midstream. Nymph fishing in the slow flow was like trying to be patient as your wife and her mom are looking around in a craft tent at a fall festival. Getting bored I decided to knot on a Woolly Bugger and try to tempt the trout with a little more action as I worked my way downstream.

 My cast was three quarters the way cross creek into the shallow riffles. I felt a tug as my line was being swept through the oncoming current. I lifted the rod up and back in hopes of dislodging the hook from the object I thought could be a snag. The line tightened and than took off down creek with the current with jerking and in erratic directions. It wasn’t that difficult swinging the trout around through the slower water down creek with the bamboo rod shaking like a lone twig in a wing gust. 

 I continued to work the bugger in the riffles and slower current. I got a good feel for the rod and pretty soon my casting was second nature with the lightly weighted streamers I was using.

 After noon there were gusts of wind that happen by now and then. The wind rattled the tree branches along the creek and the autumn leaves rustled together. Loose leaves glided upon thin air and landed on the surface water. Watching closely I could see dimples on the slower surface that developed into open water rings. I moved up creek into casting distance and clipped off the Wooly Bugger. I added a bit of 5 x tippet and looked in my fly box for a nice size beetle imitation. I juiced up the dubbed body of the closed cell shell beetle and looked out into the water. Just in front of me I noticed a couple of trout holding near the bottom. There’s no use spoiling the water before me trying to make long casts to a trout feeding on the far side. I stripped out some line and high stick the beetle not too far in front of me as if nymph fishing. One trout rose to the beetle but didn’t decide to take the free meal; even so, I knew I was on the right track.

 One of my casts was in a split between the oncoming current that was cut from a big exposed boulder up creek. I watched as the beetle drifted gently upon the slower current. A trout rose and inspected the beetle like one checking out a home made cookie trying to distinguish what’s inside. As he slurped it I reared back on the bamboo rod and it flexed into the midsection with the hook set. The trout scurried about as the bamboo stick wavered with a tight line drawing the trout in my direction.

 I lifted the rod for my next cast out to mid creek. The bamboo felt light compared to the fiberglass rod I had used the week before with the dry fly on the end of the tippet instead of the weighted streamer. I had to wait a little longer on the back cast as I felt the length of rod load with the weight forward line. My forward cast was gentle and the line floated through the air in an open loop. The beetle landed in the riffling water but stayed afloat as it entered the calmer flow. I watched a trout rise and without hesitation nab the beetle from the surface. I had another trout scurrying about on a tight line.

  I played around tossing the beetle out to no apparent risers. As the afternoon wore on I started to notice trout moving into the shallower riffles from the deeper slow water to my right. I’m sure they were moving in for an evening snack and maybe nymph fishing would have been more productive but I decided to stick with the dry beetle and make’m rise.
 I noticed one such rise three quarters across creek in a dead zone pool behind the forward break of rocks that started a small riffle and submerged rocks that may have caused a break in the undercurrent making the water above very slow going. I pulled more line from the reel and made an accurate cast that put the beetle in the small circular pool. I watched the beetle drift by and began to hastily drift with the quicker current. Another cast I again put the beetle in the same area but again no takers. My next cast was a bit more sidearm and with a bit more authority as I directed my fly towards the incoming riffles. The beetle dropped just inches from a small exposed rock where water was diverted and waved to each side. A quick splash made it obvious someone wasn’t going to let this meal get away. I reared back on the long length of line and a trout skirted the surface with my fly line in tow. I took in line quickly as he swam downstream towards the deeper water but turned out in front of me in the knee deep depth. A little physical combat with the bamboo stick tired the trout out enough he became easily tamed and I netted him without any attempt by him to escape.

 For about the next hour I continued to tease a few more trout to rise. I missed a couple and lost one which I may have been just a bit too early with the hook set. I did manage a couple more on the dry beetle before calling it a day.

 Back at the truck I changed into street clothes and lit up a stogie for my short drive home. All in all it had been a good day with the ole’ bamboo fly rod and even turned out better than I thought with a few trout caught on the dry.