Eye of the Guide


Tom Travis - Aug 13, 2012

Sysadmin Note
Part twelve can be found here

July 4th, today is the birthday of our nation, the United States of America, as I arrived on the spring creek I stop along the high bank on the upper end, this allows me a great view of the spring creek and the mountain that rise to the east. I stop and pause remembering that freedom is not free and offer a prayer for all those men and women who are serving in far off places to maintain the freedom and security of this nation. I think that many often take for granted the freedoms and enjoyment offered by this nation with little thought of the cost of freedom. After two tours in Vietnam I for one will never forget!

Today was perfect and no clouds or rain showed up to ruin the spinner fall and the hatch of yesterday and the long trickle of duns during the afternoon lead me to expect a reasonably good spinner fall this evening.

By 6 P.M. I was on station at the culvert above the house pond and soon the spinners were beginning to dance over the streamside vegetation. But alas an annoying breeze appeared which cause the dancing to start and stop and start and stop according to evening winds. However, I did notice that there were still a few PMD and Baetis Duns emerging and a few caddis skittering along the edges of the stream and I had noticed some very aggressive and splashy rises and decided that these rises should be further investigated while I was waiting for Neil to arrive.

I chose four boxes from my vest and shoved them into the pockets of my fishing shirt and along with my lanyard I was ready to go. As I have stated before, when I am guiding I always wear my vest, but when I am fishing I never wear if I don't have to. I carry a small underwater camera and that evening I slipped while entering the water and almost got to take pictures of the trout with all of us being underwater.

I am grateful that Neil had not yet arrived to document the strange dance that I engaged in to maintain my balance. I am sure that is would have gotten me an invitation to Dancing with the Clowns. After a slap stick routine which would have done credit to Charlie Chaplin I was able to keep up right and dry. Once I had settled down I once again witnessed those splashy aggressive rises.

Checking the water I found several small Black & Green Caddis adults on the surface and actually watched one trout chase and eat the one of the small caddis adults. Selecting a small size 18 Goddard Olive Caddis I greased the entire leader and the fly, and I also dropped a size 18 PMD soft hackle sixteen inches behind the Goddard. I should mention that the tippet and the dropper were both 5X tippet material. I proceeded to cover those splashy rises and took three trout between twelve and fourteen inches on the Goddard Caddis, by twitching and skittering the imitation. I also took two Cutthroat Trout, (1 about 13" and the other a solid 17" on the soft hackle which was awash in the surface film and again by slightly twitching the imitation.

Evenings along the stream #13

Neil arrived around 7:15 P.M. and quickly geared up and joined me on the water. I explained what I had been doing showing him the stomach samples and the photo of the larger Cutthroat Trout.

Evenings along the stream #13

The evening breeze continued to play havoc with the spinners, though some did hit the water and some of the trout were eating them. However, we both noticed that the rises were very, very aggressive to the spinners and at times were even charging both the natural spinners and the imitations that we were presenting. Neil took several nice trout on the Parachute PMD Spinner. I stopped fishing to investigate; the caddis that I had seen earlier were gone as were the late hatching duns. I checked to see if there were any midges on the surface or beneath it and there were none, the only thing I found on the surface were the PMD spinners and not a lot of them. Finally I noticed that the spinners were alighting on the water with their wing upright much like those of a dun and slowly with much flexing of the wings they finally end up spent on the water. I also noticed that the breeze was at time skidding some of these upright wing spinners.

I informed Neil of this fact and he began to twitch and skid his imitation and that tactic was wonderfully successful, he was able to take several more trout. I had broken off a trout when I placed my rod by the big rock to observe the situation and now the light had faded and tying on another imitation was out of the question. Neil had a small light which he offered, but I figured that by the time I had another imitation secured the feeding would be over.

Besides, watching a good angler successfully work and hook a trout is sometime that I enjoy watching. Soon the day was over and we left the water again at 10:15 P.M. We talked for several minutes about the odd feeding behavior before leaving the creek and heading to our homes.

When I arrived home, I was so jacked up that wrote several pages in my journal and end up tying up some new fly patterns that I had been working on, and before I realized the progression of time it was 3 A.M. and I had to be up by 7 A.M. Thankfully I wasn't guiding the next day, but I had agreed to the fly shop on the upper end of DePuy's and I would need a large thermos of coffee and some of those energy drinks. I knew that I would pay for my late night during the next evenings fishing.

July 5th, on this evening I would be out alone as Neil had other obligations, and it was probably a good thing that he didn't witness the poor performance that I displayed on the evening of July 5th. The best way to describe the angler's abilities (myself) is that I have seen better reflex on a corpse I manage to miss, lose or break off several trout finally paying the price for my pervious late night. Soon I decided that I had thrown down the gauntlet to the trout and they had picked it up and beat heck out of me. Much earlier than is normal for me I headed for home, vowing to rest up for the rematch.

Sysadmin Note
Part fourteen can be found here


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