April 2015I met up with Rippinlip in the fly shop. He said that he could only fish a couple of hours because he had some work back home to catch up on. After we got our gear on, out in the parking lot, he headed to the falls and I figured I'd start off with a bunny leech right in front of the shop, being there weren't many others around yet. I knew Troutslammer was down stream somewhere so I didn't spend much time drifting the leech pattern. I didn't notice anyone getting strikes using indicators but what I did notice was that there were a few slight rises on the flat water before me. The rises were near other fly guys so I didn't get the chance to try for them but it did have me think'n. I finally waded out and headed down a bit.
The sun was up high shining its rays upon us warming the chilly morning up. The water of the Big N ran clear in the shallows but enough color in the deeper parts to keep us from seeing fish. The crowds weren’t upon us yet but I figured once things warmed up a bit, fishermen would be showing up maybe to wet a line on this sunny early April day.
I caught a couple of nice browns on dry flies before Mikastorm showed up along shore. After a greeting I handed him a container of flies and showed him what I was doing to make trout rise. He was apprehensive at first about tying on a dry, since none were rising, but I convinced him to give it a try. He tied on a dark elk hair caddis to represent the grannoms and cast it into the flowing wavy run. It didn’t take long for a fish to rise to his fly but he wasn’t ready for it. The next rise he was able to hook the fish and played him to shore.
I let Mikastorm have the run to himself and started down creek where Troutslammer was teasing and catching selective trout. He was whooping and hollering with each one he caught on his dry imitation. I squatted in between two nymph fishermen and lamely tossed my caddis out into the flow of water. I missed the first couple of sippers. I wasn’t sure if I was trying to set the hook before they took the fly, being I was able to see them rise to the surface, or they were just playing. I finally let one take it under and with a quick two count a small rainbow succumbed to the rod pressure. We started to razz each other a bit but I could tell the guys I waded between didn't appreciate our fun. I finally went to the bank and waded downstream behind them.
Out, mid-stream, Nymphus and her husband were trying their luck also. I waded over to Nymphus and handed her a couple of the grannoms I’ve been using. I was going to wade over to her husband but he was doing just fine as I watched him bring in a frisky rainbow.
Looking downstream the water ran vacant of any fishermen as if they ’knew’ there would be very few fish, if any, in the long stretch of clear, semi-shallow water. Further downstream, past an outcropping of visible rocks, one fisherman was casting his line towards the far shady bank. Beyond him I could see a group of guys fishing the bend. I was in the mood for some solitary dry fly fishing and didn’t care to walk very far to find another vacant area.
I started near the bank and cast out towards the middle of the stream before wading in any further. Slowly I made my way about 1/3 across the creek and there I stopped and made a stand.
At first I didn’t notice the subtle swirls in the foot or so of water near the far bank. After studying the water flow, current shifts and slow eddies I discovered the risers. With accurate long casts and upstream mends a few of my dry fly drifts fooled a couple of them there rainbows.
I believe it was about 1:30pm when I started to feel the suns warmth and in turn it must have warmed the water a bit. This was when, at intervals mind you; swarms of grannoms rose and fluttered around in small clouds about the water. At times a calm breeze would blow upstream carrying with it more clouds of congested flying Grannoms. Needles to say I was having a field day in catching trout on the dry. I soon figured out a system of producing more trout with less casting. When a full cloud of grannoms blew in, even with trout rising around me, I concentrated on the fish rising near the far bank where only a few grannoms veered from the main body. It is no doubt harder to get a trout to rise to your foolproof imitation when so many other naturals are upon the water, therefore I cast to fish that have less of a selection. As soon as the grannoms moved upstream I concentrated on rising trout mid-stream. With less competition on the surface my imitation was as good as gold to the trout that were still hungry. I only had to retie a new dry on when the former one would get so tore up that the wing was down to only a few strands of elk hair.
While I was enjoying myself I heard a fisherman wading towards me from the upstream bank. I turned and was surprised to see Rapala coming to visit me. We chatted a bit and I showed him a few casting pointers and drag free drifts. He handed me a fat stogie before going on his way. I remember him mentioning that he was fishing with Razzmatazz earlier behind the shop. I never met Razz before but would find out later that we both were fishing the same waters at the same time. Maybe some day we’ll meet up!
After Rapala left me alone I continued with my dry fly fishing and catching.
The later on it got the more I would see fishermen walking the trail up creek and assumed they were calling it a day. I looked upstream and noticed the gathering of fellows around Troutslammer had thinned out so I decided to join him.
I found the fish he was catching weren’t all that selective with a good drift. We continued to harass each other loudly, as others looked on, like we were over confident fly fishing slobs. It was all in good fun as we commented on how much bigger our own fish was than the others. (Of course I caught the biggest one though I’m sure Troutslammer wouldn’t admit it!)
It wasn’t long after that when we were practically the only ones on the creek beneath the descending sun. In the parking lot, under the night glow, we packed our gear and headed out towards home.
It was another day of being at the right place at the right time and being able to match the hatch. It also was nice to see some familiar faces on the water that April weekend.
Sometime after this I told someone about the Grannom hatch on the Big N. They told me that there wasn't any Grannom hatch on the Big N. They told me it was probably a Black Caddis hatch. I guess the trout that day didn't know the difference because I was catching them on my Grannom imitations regularly as were others. Oh well, If it wasn't a Grannom hatch I had one of my best dry fly catching days on mistaken identity!