Friday, July 6, 2007

Drake trip #2 - Mouse Trip #1

Got a chance to fish with a friend of mine. We headed out and had hopes of getting another famous Drake hatch. Casting size twelve dry flies is one of those things that most people dream about, hope to do and rarely does it happen, even if you put in the time. This is a very finicky hatch and most people who dry fly fish target these big bugs. The rivers are over crowded and fish become wary and pattern choice and drift can make or break your day. Over the hills and far away lies another small gem with these tremendous and peculiar big bugs that is known to fewer fishermen, mostly veterans of the lifestyle.

Well day two on the river was nothing less than fantastic. Big green monsters were out and we had no problem tossing them to feeding fish. After mid-day the hatch slowed down and fish were not keying in on them any longer. The pattern-switching race began. Each pattern caught a few but still wasn't quite good enough. We were getting impressive looks but the fish would put on the breaks and come to a screeching halt right before the prospective strike. The Caddis weren't as thick compared to the other day. But the Spinners were thicker than we had ever seen them. Nate tied one on and cast it into a hole that I had been working for about five minutes with not luck. His first cast landed…and…. Bingo, fish on. He picked up a few more in the same hole. So this is what they are keying in on eh? I have never had much luck targeting the spinner fall, seen it many times before but never had the fish so focused in on them. Luckily for me Nate had a few more of these flies and gave me one. For the next few hours we took turns catching fish out of most every nook and cranny. What a great trip!

Well the sun was lowering in the sky and it was setting up for a brilliant sunset. I am always in "ah" how deep the colors can get and the moment in which it presents itself, simply amazing. The decision was made earlier to hit a Stillwater and toss some rodents at some large fish. Yep, we were going mouse chucking. I was excited as ever and hoped to get just a strike. For those of you that don't know I love mice! We rigged up and started chucking (yes chucking) unconventional large flies into the darkness. There is really no casting involved with these things, its not very graceful at least for me. I am just glad that it's so dark that nobody can see my horrible cast. You would hear a fish rise and then cast like a mad man a hope it was in the vicinity of it. Then technique is this; strip in line at one inch increment as fast as you can to create a wake then pause, and repeat until nest cast, I felt like a cobbler that was behind schedule. After a while we started to make our way to a small inlet. I was casting and striping when I came to a spot on the trail where it veered up and over creating a small ledge then continued back down to the water. My first sets of strips were complete and on the pause I quickly followed up and over, in the dark it’s really not that quick. At about the time I made it back down to the water I heard a gigantic explosion on the water. Too my surprise I was tight. The fish went berserk, thrashing around weaving left then right. I was fumbling at the reel and trying to gain control of the fish. Got it to the shore and just started to laugh. Nate came over and took a few pictures. The rest of the night went by without another strike. Nate had a few hits but unfortunately the fish didn't get a good hold of it. We reeled up admired all the Crayfish that were everywhere and ventured home, tired yet full of renewed energy. Another epic day!

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