The Longest Hatch ~ The Longest Day... Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style
If anyone had told me that yesterday would be one of those days where I would find out that my fly fishing skills still need to be polished...I wouldn't have argued. In fact, that is probably one of the reasons why I headed north to Idaho to take on a new piece of water. I have been fishing the same river all winter long. It was time to get out and step outside of the box for one day. And indeed I did! You see, I am not the dry fly type of fly fisherman...No, nymphing is my thing. The deeper my nymph goes in the water...the better! Czech nymphing has given me quite a few fish. Next, soft hackles would be my favorite. Probably because if there isn't a hatch, swinging a soft hackle is usually a safe bet. But, dry flies...hmmm. I have watched others stalk and wait...bent over and moving very slowly toward the target. They are the hunters on a quest. Well...yesterday was one of those days where it was all dry fly all the time. It was time that I practice until it became perfect...well, at least try.
It was a beautiful journey to a river that was ripe with a hatch of BWO's. I was going to learn a new style of fishing and have to be patient with myself, as there were many obstacles to my time on the water throughout the day. "Clicker" magnifiers and and climbing, s, The bugs were thick. Oh, I have never seen anything like it. The morning hatch of BWO's went into an afternoon hatch. I must have watched six hours of BWO's jumping on the water in front of me. It was a thing to behold. They were on my sleeves like they wanted to go home with me...I think there were a couple that did!
I made my way up the river, through the thorns and sticker bushes that scratched through my sleeves as I walked. I wondered if this was all worth it. It had to be. The journey went on. After the first hour and feeling a little frustrated, I texted a friend to inquire what I was doing wrong. Nothing seemed to take my BWO dry...My response back was..."Dry or Die!" Love it. Well...I wasn't going to give up the fight.
I continued on a couple of hours with dries until a few rainbows hit the fly and then decided that wasn't the morsel that they wanted. I forgot to put the sugar on it, I guess. As I climbed over a few more boulders, I found some flat water. A nice pool of fish, slurping...this was going to be the winner. It had to be. I was going to learn how to be a dry fly chick if it killed me. Nothing. Now, it was time to try some nymphs and starting working the seams. It was late in the afternoon...the sun was getting close to putting me in the shade. I had to catch something! The BWO's were still doing their thing. How could this day have so much bug life and for such a long period of time?? It was incredible.
Another text came in..."I always catch something on the hares ear there..." Oh, what the heck. So, I put on the hares with a midge at the end. A black zebra midge 20 is my go-to fly all year round. As I worked the BWO infested seams back down the river towards the parking lot, a tug on the line. Could this be it? Could my day that started 12 hours before...finally produce something in the net? (Yeah...woke up at 5 am)
Yep. Ya know what...I will take it. One lonely rainbow in my net all day long. But, on the bright side...and you know there always is a bright side to everything, don't you? : ) My casting got a lot of practice this day, which I needed. So, it was a good outing. And we will catch one on the dry fly next time. Because I am back in two weeks to see that hatch again.
There is always a way to end your day on a good note. Besides Mr. Rainbow, the two scratch cards (not a big gambler) that I picked up earlier in the morning, bought me dinner AND...inticed me to buy a $10 Lottery ticket. So, if I win...MORE ROAD TRIPS!! Haha. And more practice on dry fly fishing... : )
If you are feeling kind of itchy and uncomfortable as you walk through bushes and obnoxious weeds...
There probably is a reason to check after you get out of them...