Some days out on the water are just special. When you have stunningly beautiful weather, some willing fish (at least willing enough?), and a backpack full of fried chicken for an afternoon snack life is pretty good.
June gave us some really great hatches and fishing to go with it but as we get deeper into July waiting for the next hatch things get a little less predictable out on the water. The fish readily diss the usually effective hopper dropper. And the blazing afternoon sun doesn't can be a challenge for fish and fishermen. So to mix things up it's time for the dawn patrol. Getting out on the water at 6am takes an extra coffee (or two) but the sublime calm and quiet of the woods and water is breath taking at that time. The only thing stirring then are the animals...and the fish.
Never can tell when the fish will give you an unexpected opportunity but it happend this morning. As we waded into the first location, the calm pool seemed to come alive with porposing fish. I'd like to say I knew exactly what they were eating. Ha! Whatever it was was so small that I never really figured it out. But that didn't matter because a #18 Brown Klink did the trick. Not a single refusal. In fact these fish would swing around after eating someting and crunch the Klink as well.
After a fun hour the sun hit the water and the activity was over. Time to wade and work new water. With the sun up it was Chubby and Beetle dropper time. The fish were not exactly in the mood for big chew toy like the Chubby Chernobyl but the smaller black foam beetle seemed to get them going and we took several fish. But after another hour or two things just turned off as it got warmer.
With favorite spots and favorite rigs yielding a big zero it was time to regroup. Cold fried chicken in the shade of a huge cluster of cedars next to a bubbling spring brook will do the trick. Taking time to notice all the crayfish darting around will also do the trick. With almost a sense of despiration we tried the unthinkable...a giant Pats Rubberleg (aka The Turd) dropped three feet below our Chernobyls. Close enough to fool a fish into thinking it's a crayfish without the pinchers? Maybe...
First drift through a deep hole the indicator Chubby disappears, there's a hook set but not movement, snag...wait it's moving. Pop. Gone. Whoa! Was that a fluke? Let's try again. Another cast another hook up. This one lasted a few more seconds before the 4X gave way again as it met the sharp edge of a rock. Ugh. But new approach is definitely a go! Over and over we laugh as big trout after big trout fall prey to The Turd aka Mr Hinkey.
What an awesome summer day on the river.