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….