I started off at dawn chucking big streamers. It was a quintessential roll of the dice on a winter morning. I had tied up some Double Deceivers and wanted to see how they behaved. Steve Dally recommended the pattern.
Well, they were very well behaved, in fact, but drew no strikes. I threw other articulated bugs, too, ones that worked well in the fall, and they also weren’t touched.
At that point, Dave Machowski, the well-known Housatonic guide and all-around great guy, came up. We split water, and he proceeded to land fish after fish with his indicator set-up. That motivated me to switch rods and poorly begin to chuck the bobber.
I’m not a great indicator angler. Shortly after starting to fly fish regularly, I moved over to Euronymphing and went deep down that hole for a few years. Line control? Very little for me. A clean drift for many yards with an indicator? Not I.
Dave was very kind. He gave me one of his special flies and showed me a cool technique to extend my drifts. It was an impromptu clinic, and I’m very grateful for him. Soon thereafter, I landed two fish. That man is a miracle worker! He also had some great streamer-fishing advice.
After landing a pile of fish, Dave decided to move to a new spot. We shook hands, and I thanked him profusely. I offered to him one of my streamers, which he refused to take, and he was all generous and modest as always.
Soon, the rain started to come down, and I went back to streamer fishing. Might as well end the way I began, I thought.
I worked various edge seams and dark water. Low and slow, I thought, and retrieved the streamer with some very short and erratic strips. This went on for quite a while.
Periodically, I looked at my watch. I had to be back on the road by 1 pm in order to cook some mac ‘n cheese, which we were bringing to a couples’ potluck dinner. It is never a good feeling when you sense the clock ticking while you fish.
I rotated through various articulated streamers and then came upon the first streamer I had used that morning: an olive-and-yellow Double Deceiver with an orange throat made from Senyo’s Laser Dub (a tip from a Rich Strolis video). When wet, this streamer looks just like a six-inch brown trout. And, it really does look downright sexy when moving in the water.
Why not? I put it on.
A few casts in, I felt a grab. Miraculously, I strip-set correctly, felt movement, and had a fish on. I was all smiles. The Orvis Helios 3D seven-weight made for quick work, but I didn’t care. I actually got an eat on a low-probability technique on a cold day.
It was a clean-looking brown trout and of a decent size. Deceived by the Double Deceiver. Victory, at last!
I gunned it back, slid safely home, and started to cook. The mac ‘n cheese turned out great. It included cheddar, Gruyère, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, as well as panko crumbs. It’s about 700 calories a serving, but who’s counting?
The Double Deceiver worked, and I am so looking forward to my February trip to Arkansas’ White River. I hope to see a monster brown while there….