Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stillwater Sight Fishing - Cicadas and Cutthroats

Got the good word from Ralphy that Cicadas were being taken without hesitation on a local stillwater... thanks man!! That made it easy to decided what to do for tomorrows adventures.... Mike D. was down... we headed out bright and early armed with a hand full of Rainy's Criss Cross Cicada patterns.

photo courtesy of Mike Doughty

Hiking to the water and staying high on top of the bank/cliffs I have a great view of whats going on down below. The first glimpse was a bit too much, need to focus, wow. It was surreal, hundreds, yes, hundreds of fish swimming everywhere. Bait balls of all size, shape and age class were swirling about. Fish in the 12-16" range were thrashing through these tightly formed swirling balls of joy, braking them up for a split second before they returned to formation. On the outskirts of all the commotion were the big fish. Waiting patiently for anything to show signs of an easy meal. Closer in, about a foot or less off the rocks, are larger fish chasing each other at a fast pace up and down the shore line, not interested in anything but they were big! Focusing back to the main canvas I scanned for the feeders. For a minute there I was thinking that this scenario was something that only happens on the Ocean, or at least that I had seen, I have never seen anything like this before in fresh water. It was so bleeping cool and I was stoked to be able to see it with my own eyes.

With a birds eye view the trick is to find the larger fish that is in feeding mode. Once you have a lock on your target, you hike down and make a "leading" cast without spooking them. These fish were not picky what so ever and the second the big foam bug hit the water the fish were immediately on it. Swimming over at a good pace with white mouths open there was zero hesitation for the, I love this part, gulp. Watching a large fish sip your fly is nerve racking, especially here. Most of the time your 10-15' about the water, so you need to wait even longer to set the hook. It felt like eternity until the head turned down. Each time, for a split second, I always remember all the fish that I had lost because I was too impatient... or not well seasoned enough to know to wait or just sucking as usual, but sometimes the excitement is still too much and I blow it.

After I got home I couldn't get my mind off the sight fishing, the white mouth cutts and the anticipation of the take. I decided to head back out again. Well, I was there, same time, same place, but the fish didn't get my memo. No bait balls, no schools of small bows and no cruising fish. Although, the larger fish chasing each other around were still there... and still not interested. I did manage to pick off a few on top, I was stoked about that. But at least I know, it would have killed me to think that it was going off while I was fishing somewhere else, especially if it was slow. So now, I am kicking myself for not going to the somewhere else ; )



sight fishing... my favorite too! Great work for those big cutties..Brother

trout tripper said...

that certainly was an enjoyable day