Tomorrow I am heading out for my annual lake trout trip... After five decades of catching many, many thousands of fly rod fish this is the one trip which still gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. Sockeye smolts leaving a large lake get funneled to a single departure point and lake trout wait in large schools. A school of descending smolts often erupts in patches of a thousand square feet, easily. Smolts being hammered by lakers will often be seen flying through the air or lying dazed on the surface.
Often the action will result in fish after fish for long periods of time with wild chases and brutal takes. Last time I was there I brought 8 lakers to hand on 8 consecutive casts. Few are under 18" and some go to the high 20s, pushing 30". A few have been substantial, but this more of a volume trip than a monster trip.
Denny fished it with us and caught many grayling but we were a little late and only caught a single lake trout on that trip.
Last trip I also caught a grayling I feel was my largest ever. I have caught many grayling most would consider "once-in-a-lifetime" and this one was just ridiculous... It was probably 20" plus or minus a half-inch, so nothing like a really long one, but it was so huge it had to be seen to be believed. The belly hung down between my fingers and just felt "soft." I have caught many in the 20-24" range.
The Haymaker pattern I posted a SBS on last year is still my favorite with a few modifications to test this year. One thing I did not mention in the SBS was using glow-in-the-dark flashabou. There is nothing like watching your fly in relative darkness and seeing it suddenly taking a sudden upriver turn! Or watching a piece of still-glowing flash hung on a fish tooth waving in the current at your feet while a laker waits for the next school of smolts to try to escape.
Please do not cry for me in my terrible plight! I will survive it and probably be stronger as a result!
If there was ever a reason to call me names, this is it...