Archive for the ‘Elk Hair Caddis’ Tag

More Baetis Success   Leave a comment

After fruitless effort during the first thirty minutes of my fishing time today I gave it one last shot. Actually I was about to do the responsible thing and go back to work after snapping off my pink squirrel on some underwater object, but as I was leaving I saw a trout rising to Blue Winged Olives consistently in a spot I hadn’t targeted on this fine day, so I decided for one last attempt to connect with a trout.

I had to tie on a new 5X tippet because the previous tippet had snapped off in the aforementioned incident the with aforementioned unseen object. So I unspooled my leader and some line from my reel, tied on a new tippet with a double surgeon’s knot, tied on a size 18 elk hair caddis, and realized I hadn’t threaded my line through my rod guides. No worries though. A size 18 fly is small enough to fit through all the guides on my 3-wt rod.

So, anyway, I managed to do all this without spooking the fish, which I assumed would be another 6-inch toddler trout. Making a terrifically difficult but stunning backhanded cast and avoiding any entanglements, I presented the fly at intervals of increasing distance, hoping to avoid spooking the fish in this very still pool. On about the sixth cast I had put the fly right above the area where I’d seen the fish sipping flies. I let it sit. Nothing. More nothing. Then, something!

I had barely noticed the slight tug in my line, but I tested to see if I’d made a connection. I don’t recall seeing any fish lips breaking the surface of the mirror-smooth pool, but they must have because my rod was suddenly bent over. I tugged to set the hook and gave the reel a spin. The tension was gone and I wasn’t sure if I’d kept the fish on. The logical place for this fish to make a run was downstream, toward me, and I suppose that’s what it was doing. So I cranked the reel as quickly as I could to keep any hint of tension possible on the line, but it was tough keeping up with that fish.

Then I saw that it was in fact a respectable fish. When I saw him, he saw me, and he turned back upstream to the pool. I let the reel reverse as he made a run back up. I was worried about breaking that size 18 hook off. But I didn’t. I played that nice fish back to me without incident and it was a very enjoyable conversation he and I carried out via that fishing line.

He sure didn’t want to hold still for me to scoop him out of the water for a picture, but I finally got my hand under his belly and brought him out. What a terrific fish and a memorable catch! A picture and then back in he went, and back to work I went…

Black Earth Creek Brown Trout, 13-inches, on an Elk Hair Caddis

Black Earth Creek Brown Trout, 13-inches, on an Elk Hair Caddis

Black Earth Creek on this Fine Day   Leave a comment

Over lunch I hit BEC and had an interesting, enjoyable time.

First off, what a beautiful day! 80-degrees and it finally feels like spring has bullied its way onto the scene. Second, I fished today without waders since I was only out for a short time. I found it freeing to not be burdened by the extra luggage and time required to put on waders and boots. But I also found that I needed to be in the water to achieve the presentations I hoped for. So off with the shoes and socks, hike up the pants, and I’m good to go.

Was the water cold? Yes. But after a few minutes my feet numbed to the cold and to the discomfort of walking over small stones, so I guess it worked out for the best.

Now for the fishing. I started off slinging a large streamer to see about getting some large trout action in a large hole. Pretty large idea, eh? I thought so too. But nobody in the water seemed to care for my large streamer (I’m talking a 6″ long yellow pike fly). Oh well. I then tied on an egg sucking leech and got a little action down deep, but lost the fish. It was probably a 12″-er, but it was hard to tell how large because it was deep down in that 7-foot hole.

While tying on that leech pattern a fish rose to hit a blue-winged olive type bug. They, along with midges, were hatching, though sparsely. So after the leech yielded nothing I tied on an elk hair caddis, probably a number 18. First cast and a decent fish, perhaps the one I lost the leech, rose to slam it. But either it spit the fly or I reacted too quickly and I had a line full of nothin’ on the end of my rod.

While fishing this large hole I heard, then saw, fish rising to these Baetis bugs. I  mosey’d downstream to a nice spot to cast and fired the elk hair fly to the exact spot I saw a fish rise. BAM! I pulled the trigger too soon again and missed it. But a few casts later to that same locale and I had my fish. Wonderful! It is such a joy to fish by sight, to set the hook based on seeing a fish strike.

I had a couple more minutes before needing to return to my car and to work, and I cast to a few different places where I’d seen fish rising. I got one more hookup before my time on the creek ran out.

I know it seems silly but I suppose those of you who’ve had the pleasure of carefully casting a dry fly to rising fish can understand my joy in catching silly little Brown Trout on surface patterns. There’s something satisfying about fooling a fish so thoroughly.

Small Brown Trout on Elk Hair Caddis, Black Earth Creek

Small Brown Trout on Elk Hair Caddis, Black Earth Creek

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