A Misty Outing

I had a plan on Saturday. It didn’t work!

I arrived in the morning at the Swift Hatchery Pipe Toilet Bowl area (our river guide here). I had made some new experimental dries, and the plan was to test them out in the morning, catch a few fish, and, then, migrate to north of Rt. 9.

Dawn arrived, cold and abrupt. I walked to the bank and noticed that there wasn’t a lot of fish activity. Brookies were no longer on their redds, and the place looked pretty quiet.

Mist was rising everywhere.

I started to cast. I kept casting. Nothing. No takes. I couldn’t get any fish to move to inspect my dries. Ice formed quickly on the guides with air at 24 °F. Water was a decent 48 °F, however.

It was serendipitous, and, Alex and Ashu came to the river. We didn’t plan for this. It just happened. I made room for my Blog Buds, and we all got to work.

I stubbornly fished “dries or die.” A few fish were solidly on but fell off. Zero landed. It was a bummer. In general, the new experimental dries pretty much sucked.

I decided I would keep at it and start rotating flies and move a bit. I texted the Mrs. that my “half day” of fishing would extend. I started fishing my “old reliables.”

Thankfully, I started to get takes and eventually went into double-digits with the brookies and smaller rainbows. Alex and Ashu went upriver, and I felt that I simply had to try and get a “decent” ‘bow. I stayed.

I kept plugging away. The key, I found, was to throw large-ish flies. Maybe, it was a curveball that just got their attention?

Fortunately, I was able to land three rainbows. Here are two of them.

Either way, it reminded me that fly fishing can be very humbling, but, also, can turn on a dime. I rotated through many, many dry flies. The best ones: #20 to #24 Parachute Post dries with split micro-fibbett tails (one in olive, another in grey), black #30 CDC Midge Emergers, a #16 Renegade, and a #12 Elk Hair Orange Caddis.

In the end, it was a very good outing. I caught some fish on dries on a cold day. I gave away flies to three anglers. I met some old friends and made some new ones.

I left the river a few hours late and rushed home to help with chores. I guess I may be in the penalty box.

So worth it.

Tight lines to all, and it was great to meet up, Alex and Ashu….

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10 thoughts on “A Misty Outing

  1. dang, I was out at the Y pool right as the sun was coming up on Saturday, would have loved to meet up! Lots of nice bows and brookies split evenly between a #14 sexy walts with an olive tag and #18 hot orange soft hackles. Maybe I’ll see you out there someday!

    1. Nicely done! Yes, plan was to hit the Y Pool later, but, I ran out of time. I am sure we will meet. I’m the guy with the Frabill net and William Joseph Confluence chest pack. Always feel free to say hello, Evan….

  2. I had pretty much put my dry flies aside for now, but that will change after reading your post, Jo. Fishing the lower Swift a couple times this Thanksgiving weekend, there were some good sized caddis flying and landing on the water, but nothing was rising to them so I stayed with the sub-surface flies on Friday and again this afternoon.

    No fish netted this Sunday afternoon, but got one soft hit as I slowly stripped in a pheasant tail nymph with a rainbow warrior dropper in deepish slow water. The fish did not connect, or so I thought. I noticed a couple of casts later I no longer had flies on which baffled me being there was nothing remarkable about the hit. Knots were all good as I tied and tested them prior to leaving the house. 5X fluorocarbon tippet was fresh off the spool too.

    1. I think you’re fishing a more challenging stretch than I was. My luck changed most likely because some pellets were coming down, and that energized the fish. Glad you got out!

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