Two-fer Tuesday

T
Tinker
I've seen this long pool many times and simply never walked up to it, so, feeling bored, I hiked up to it way too early yesterday morning - Tuesday. Only took the fly rod. It's becoming a habit...

Mostly I was trying to correct a casting problem that leaves me making something called a "tuck cast" (I won't argue the name: Spydey has a copy of The Definitive Book) every other time I try to fling a fly. Every so often a small cutthroat would take the fly as a bonus. Or maybe they were fine cutthroat - I'll make a note to look up how big cutthroat grow when they aren't sea-run fish...

The leader was curling up on me and I didn't have my leather with me to straighten it out. I was tired of shaking off small fish and having to dry the fly. It was a nice morning, but I'd been there a long time, the coffee was wearing off, and was powerful hungry.

I thought I'd make a few practice casts with a dry/nymph combination and then take off for breakfast. Dry/nymph combos give me fits when casting and I normally avoid using them. Everything gets all wrapped-up and it all sinks and I tend to tie knots in the tippet and who needs that when it's just small fishes and you're faint from hunger?

First cast was a typical cluster and the dry fly got dragged down and drowned. Rats! Second cast worked and I'm patting myself on the back when the top fly gets a hit by the largest fish of the day.

It wasn't all that big - 8-inches, maybe a bit bigger - but that was still a full three inches larger than the biggest one I'd had on a fly all morning. I set the hook and out of nowhere, the rod bent over into a perfect upside-down "U" and I'm worried that I've snagged the nymph and calamity was just around the corner while the fish is starting to flop around on the surface.

But hooray! Whatever I'd snagged came loose but the rod is still all bent over and the fish is still flopping around the surface and I'm very confused when a second fish leaps up and it's BIG - bigger than the first fish. It's on the nymph and it doesn't appreciate being there so it's leaping and splashing and raising hell about the indignity of the situation and when it jumps, it actually lifts the first fish a couple of inches out of the water. Instead of being alone on the water, I'm co-fishing.

I'm praying that the surgeon's knot holds and the tippet doesn't snap when the two fish go in opposite directions, and all-in-all thoroughly enjoying every second. And instead of just hooking the fish, I actually landed them both! For once, neither one shook off at the edge of the water. I'm a freaking Fishing Champ!

The second fish was a rainbow - on the mymph - and was slightly over 14 inches long and quite a chubby little devil. The cutthorat on the dry fly wasn't all that impressive. Or maybe it had been a tubby before the rainbow scared the poo out of it.

I'm catching fly rod disease.

Oh! And just so no one starts to think I can catch fish... This morning, also way too early, I drove up to a nearby pool to cast flies again. Fairly heavy rain - I'm waterproof - but the big drops were making bubbles on the surface and I was struggling to see the fly as it floated past.

So I'm standing there trying to decide whether I should stay or call the game on account of the weather, and noticing that the water was starting to get a bit less clear and maybe rising a bit and, Oh My! isn't that an osprey in that tree over there..? I figured I'd call it a day and went following the fly line down to where it was just below the surface of the water and wondering what that meant but I don't have a clue, so I started to wind it in. The fly seemed to be caught on something - not firmly caught like a rock but more like it had a wad of algae on it, so I gave it a "Give me back my fly, dammit!" tug. It was coming towards me and I had just put my brain back into neutral when it finally sank in that I could see the fly in the mouth of a Very Nice Fish - who promptly spat it out.

I stayed another half hour, got thoroughly soaked and never saw another fish of any size.

It's like that, I guess. One day you're a Fly God, the next day, you're the Idiot on the Bank.

I'm not as fond of fly-fishing this afternoon as I was yesterday morning...

You know, thinking back, almost every time I hook a Nice Fish, it's when I'm wool-gathering and thinking about something completely unrelated to catching a fish. Might be that my body knows how to catch fish, if I don't let my head screw everything up.
 
Casting Call
Casting Call
Thanks Tinker! I like to hear about episodes of the lost and almost lost, are more entertaining with the after thoughts. The ones that get bagged, well we know how the story ends C&R. Thanks again Tony
 
S
Spydeyrch
Tinker,

Sounds like you had a fantastic day with that double hook-up!! Awesome job landing both of them. It sounds like that surgeon’s knot held, right? Glad to hear that. How was the practice with getting rid of the un-wanted tuck cast going? Remember, less power/wrist flick on the forward cast. Let that rod do the work for you, don’t force it. :D

What flies were you using as in your dropper rig? Sounds like you had it dialed in pretty well to get a nice double like that! Hopefully you can do it again soon.

Don’t worry about losing that fish, it happens all the time. I took a trip out to the upper Wilson on the 14th of this month. In the first real pool/run, I had probably the biggest fish I have ever had hooked. I think it was 18” but I am not 100% sure. I hooked him with a little size 14 or 16 red-butt elk hair caddis. I set the hook with my little 1wt rod and the fish came shooting out of that water like a bullet, straight up. It leaped probably about a foot to 1.5 feet in the air!! I thought it was going to land on the shore and I wouldn’t have to do any work! Hahahaha, once it got back in the water, it shot down stream, did some head shakes and my doubled over rod went straight again. I lost it. I was too busy trying to strip in the excess line I had plus the fly was a little too small for that fish based upon where I had hooked it. I was so excited!! My fishing partner saw it all too and was totally amazed! So I changed my fly size, made a few more casts into the same pool and got this nice big 13.5 cuttie. I don’t know if he was a sea-run or not, but he shure fought amazingly!

The moral is, sometimes you get’um, sometimes ya don’t. Keep going at it man, don’t give up. Have fun with it, practice when you can. And most of all, let it course through your veins! Hahahaha.

Take care and awesome job again. :D

-Spydey
 
T
Tinker
Elk Hair Caddis on top (I think - it's an Elk Hair something and I'm confused by the names) size 12 and Mega-Prince Nymph, size 14. When I went through the list you provided, I didn't know they'd arrive without name tags... :)

Can't say that I lost the Wednesday fish since I'm not sure I ever had him on the hook. Trout have been known to mouth my flies just to watch me set the hook on thin air - hoping I'll set it in my own precious hide. They're evil-minded little devils.
 
W
wozniasm
Great story! Thanks for sharing!
 
M
Moe
Good read, great job!
 

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