Well, I finally ran into some Trico activity. I got up at 3:30 am and staked a spot before dawn. To kill time, I threw a bobber at a likely spot, and an 18″ buck brown took a nymph (video here).
At mid-morning, some fish started to rise. Some Caddis were emerging as well some midges, and the trout were quite selective. An occasional Trico spinner would drift by, and the fish were keyed on them. Long gone were the days when fish would gulp like goldfish on a blanket of Trico spinners. With the hatch on the wane, there weren’t many spinners on the water, and so, the trout rose quickly and then dashed for cover.
I saw quite a few fish on dries, but it was a lot of work. I have a few Trico patterns that I rotated through, and there was no “magic fly.” Instead, long casts were required to stay out of the trout’s view. On occasion, a fish would make a mistake and I’d get a take. A midge emerger that absolutely crushed it last time received almost no looks and garnered no takes.
But, it was fun. The water was very low and clear, and you could see the fish spook when you got too close. A new pattern would often get a hard look, and then, full of wisdom, the fish would no longer show interest on subsequent drifts. Takes were extremely quick, and it made me wonder if they were nipping on a fly to feel for metal. It was definitely challenging.
I find that September is a brutal month for trout, with the big bugs gone and eggs not yet in the drift. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.