Thursday, June 14, 2007

Day of Days---- Four Hatches, One Day - Drake Trip #1

The call came in, now this was not the "hey the so and so river is going off" type of call.... it was THE call. You know the one that you have always dreamed about, search for, and anticipated since last years disappointing ring. Yep, the Green Drake hatch was going off!!! The source was reliable and I am very happy to say it was not at the local river, it was off the beaten path, tucked away from the public eye.

That night I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas morning ... I couldn't sleep a wink, my mind was racing, oh the possibilities, then came the past let downs but the what "if" question's are the one's that kept me awake until the early hours of the morning. Morning finally arrived, a few short hours later. With the little sleep that I got I was surprisingly energized, the growing anticipation was now running at full bore. I grabbed my bags and off I went to the rendezvous spot to meet up with the informant, Cheech. The drive went rather quickly, the beautiful scenery and the many fishing holes along the way kept my thoughts from the Drakes but for only a few moments.

I was in such a hurry this morning that I think I forgot something...whoops...I was trying to remember if I had everything, the check list was constantly being repeated in my head... 2wt… Check... 236.7 fly boxes...check… Camera... check... Reel... uh, oh, um, jeez hope so... Pack… Check... go-go juice (Red Bulls)… Check... brain... shoot where did I leave it... wading belt... nope. Oh well, its always something and I was glad it was the belt and not the reel!

We packed up and started the hike to the water, finally. On the hill the first glance the water was seen, it looked like it always does, quiet, peaceful and inviting but we were still too far to determine any specific insect activity. The trail to the water is, well, how do you say, a pain in the arse... bushwhacking through a maze of green fences under a few bushes and ta-da the river... few... Rigging up there was just a little hesitation but I went with the adult Green Drake, that's why we are here so got the bump to first string.

Turning over a few rocks you could view a variety of insects.... but there they were, the Drake nymphs, they look like their on steroids, stout, lean and very healthy. They were plentiful, a good sign but hope we are not too early in this game. Ah, the first few flying adult insects were coming into view, looks a bit on the small side… first suspect identified... Caddis, kind of a let down... oh wait we have more incoming... drum roll.... adult Green Drake!!! Then another, woo-hoo, it's on!!

The first few cast reveled that the size 12 adult fly was right on target. Cheech was with was catching them on many different patterns and even caught them on a new secret prototype that has been producing rather consistently on many different waters. I also started to switch as well, to my uh secret store bought flies : ) A nice looking run would appear to be vacant, no action going on, but as soon as you made a few casts there was a strike at most every spot. We took turns and rotated after each fish, I would somehow always start. I would picked off the little ones out of the back of the hole and let my partner catch the big ones, this was embarrassing, an outrage: ) Every hole held the same scenario. Don't get me wrong, I got my fair share of fat healthy 14-16" Browns, all off a dry fly!!!

After a few minutes another player introduced itself to the field, Stone flies.... What, a Stone Fly hatch too, score!! They too were everywhere along with the Drakes and Caddis. Now we were switching from big green flies to big brown flies and than back again, the fish however could care less they just wanted something large and in-charge to be thrown at them. This continued for hours, yes hours. Each cast had the possibility to be a hit, sometimes five hits per hole. I would get one, Cheech would get one, this continued through out the 10 hour fishing day.

As the day went on we were getting hungry. At every bend we were getting hungrier, stomach's were yelling feed me. We would both say, "after the next hole let's stop for lunch", and right after fishing the hole we would wind up and start walking to the trail. We would both look up the stream and say " how about right after this stretch" and repeated this scenario until we couldn't bare it any longer, we were starving... not really but extremely hungry. Funny what good fishing will make you do, how it controls you, it's so hard to leave. Lunch added much needed fuel for the evening session; a few PB&J's, Red Bulls and an energy bar did the trick. We were ready to get back to the water!! But had no idea the events to come....

After lunch we made a move upstream. Upon getting back to the water a fish was hooked on the first cast, not mine though, smiles were big and spirits were high. The green bugs were disappearing though and the Stone Flies were all but gone... You could see a few here and there but the fish were keying in on another insect... Caddis. A prolific hatch was getting underway, the sky looked liked a fuzzy black and white television scene. Caddis were swarming, a few Drakes and stones were also in the mix, and a new arrival came in... Rusty Spinners, everywhere. This was insane!!!! Rusty Spinners didn't seem to play a role in the fishes mind but they had no problem eating a Caddis adult!!! This continued for the duration of the evening, until the sun had left the sky and it was dark... because each bend of the stream could not be passed by without a cast.

We reeled up looked for the exit... and gasped... uh-oh, how do we get out of here. It was dark and we didn't bring our head lamps, oops! So we just went straight through a wall of brush, some small trees, bushes, sharp objects, sticks, prickly plants.... the entire time I had a script visually stamped in my brain.... Us walking trough the forest like two idiots in the night and stumbling upon a Moose, the end... but I couldn't help from thinking that we just had a epic day on the river and at least we got to fish before getting run in by a angry Moose. After about 20 minutes of bulldozing trough the labyrinth we finally made it to the trail. The hike back was full of memories and tales of far away fishing, a few jokes about the days events and the amazement of getting to be apart of one of the greatest hatched known. Those who know never say where and those who know always smile when the Green Drake hatch is talked about. Most people never truly get to fish a good hatch such as this, what a day!!!

1 comment:

Clark said...

What a day indeed. Like pounding the water with little green Boeing 747s. Talking about tuna fishing. PBnJ whilst watching the baby woodpeckers, etc. "Get those little fish out of my way..." "do you think a Kemp Bug will produce after the hole has been worked over?.... FISH ON."

This ranks in my top 5 days fishing all time.