It snowed last night laying down a clean slate of white. Overnight temperatures were in the "cold as hell" category… yeah I know that phrase makes no sense but somehow you understand it. Anyway… Nate and I met up with Mike D at the inlet. 97.2% of the lake was still frozen. He was already at the creek diligently tossing streamers by the time we made it to the parking area. After rigging we met up with Mike and agreed to hike over to the far shoreline. It's deeper over there, easy to see what you're walking on and well, what if? ……. Well, that sucked, nada, zip, zilch, nothing. No strikes, no follows, no fish. We abandoned that idea and went to plan B, head to the river.
On the way to the stream I wasn't all that thrilled to be nymphing. Yes of course I was stoked to be fishing. To be honest I suck at it, it's not really my cup of tea so to speak. I do not have the patients for the constant re-rigging after you get broken off, be it fish or rock, stick or the moss creature from Scooby-Do. The tangles get to me, staring at the bobber irritates me and the clinking of the split shot in my pack at every step makes me wish I brought my iPod. All these reasons are why I need to keep on it, keep practicing... meticulously. But seriously, give me a rising fish and a dry fly, its more entertaining watching the rejections ; )
Nate Rigged Czech style and Mike stuck with the streamers. I had wished I rigged Czech on the walk to the water, thought about switching. I always go to the stand-by bounce rig here. Not sure why, there are way easier ways to rig, with wayyyy less hassles…that's probably the reason I do it…lol… Right out of the gate Mike had a few hits pounding the banks. A few on but just didn't get a good hook set. Nate stuck a few fish and I was lobbing my rig over and over, staring at the trees and watching the birds. I take the nymphing time to enjoy the surroundings because of the lack of catching : ) I watched Nate's techniques and tried to figure out what he is doing, when he is doing it and why. If you fished with him you'd do the same thing, watch and learn and take some taking notes. We kept moving up the river. I still hadn't even had a strike. Nate was ten feet down from me and stuck a fish…. Figures. After a short moment of doing this monotonous lobbing routine I decided I'd had enough, time to get into it. Open the box of goodies and selected an old stand-by, picked up a few rocks and decided to try out NJ's sweet looking BWO pattern. I switched flies and after talking with Nate I shortened my leader. I sure wish I had done that earlier. I was finally on, and then another, two quick fish and a few more hits. Leaving that hole and meeting them back up the river, Mike had to leave…..
For the next few hours I was finally figuring it out. A specific little tip from Nate was all it took. I couldn't believe how fun nymphing is… when you're catching. It was truly unbelievable…Brown, Cutthroat and White Fish. I tried all day but couldn't find a Rainbow but Nate did… of course he did. I was so stoked to catch a Cutthroat here and by some dumb luck I got two. The numbers were thrilling, the fly's were working as it was designed (to catch) and I almost thought nymphing was cool ; ) It was a great day on the water, I learned a few things, touched a Cutthroat, watched some big birds fly and got a few pics…. I wish I could do that all day, every day.