Deja vue ...
... all over again, kind of.
This morning I tied this version of an FEB October Caddis. Except it was on a size 8 hook; very light blond elk rump hair was substituted for deer; and the legs were barred red rather than barred orange.
This afternoon, at 12:38, a big old fish raised its nose just above the surface, sipped in the fly, moved off about 10' and bull dogged on the bottom. Occasionally it would move a few feet one way or the other, or shake its head for a while, but mostly it just held, and held, and held.
I moved upstream to change the angle of pressure, held the rod tip high to try to lift its head, held it low to the left and pulled, held it low to the right and pulled, all as much as I thought the 4X tippet could handle - and the fish just held, and held, and held. Applied firm pressure, bounced the rod tip, gave the fish slack to see what it would do, and all it would do is hold or move a few feet. Closest I could get was about 25', close enough to see a 30" or thereabouts bull trout.
After a while I sat down on a rock for a change of pace. Then I decided to head downstream a bit to see if he would turn or follow. Got about 10-15' and all of a sudden, the pressure was gone and the fly popped up out of the water - at 1:06. Twenty eight minutes, and then he was gone.
I thought maybe the hook broke or straightened. But that was not the case. My guess is that when I moved downstream far enough, the pressure leveraged the hook enough that it released.
Twenty eight minutes is a long time to have a trout on. And for 4X tippet on a thread furled leader to hold up.
Quite an interesting experience, for sure.
P.S. An O. C. based on the foam bodied FEB Hopper has been the fly du jour for the past several weeks in Northern Idaho.
P.P.S. Nineteen consecutive months and counting successfully fishing the FEB pattern in Northern Idaho and Western Montana in varying sizes and colors for the skwalla, salmonfly, golden stone and O.C. hatches and during the hopper season. It was a real kick catching fishies in January and February on an FEB Hopper !!
The fish are always right.