The Rats Nest

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Now You Got Company....

Interesting phrase for the title of a fly fishing blog?  I suppose, but traditionally when you hear these words it could be related to a slew of different scenarios.  The first that comes to mind is when your doorbell rings and the UPS or FedEx delivery man is there on your front steps, holding your new rod you've been eagerly awaiting for like a little kid on Christmas morning.  Or, when you get that unexpected knock on the door and it's one of your family members who just showed up unannounced for dinner.  As you can easily see, depending on how you look at things, having company can be construed as either a positive or negative experience, depending on what the outcome may be.
First Olive Jig Victim

Today, while fishing, alone, without a soul in sight both up and down the river, this particular phrase rang out from behind me, "Now you got company".  Not really something that you're expecting while waste deep in river, but nonetheless, it happened.  It wouldn't have been so bad if the mouth these words came from continued on walking downstream, leaving a wide enough birth between eachother.  Unfortunately that wasn't the case, lets just say about two rod lengths downstream of me, this person jumps in and starts fishing the run.  Rather than create a scene, I simply retorted back, "Not really", and motored on to new water.  Sometimes you just gotta be the bigger person.    Either way, it was the only blemish to an otherwise great day.  Sometimes I guess we fly fisherman are our own worse enemies.
Full Size Shot Of The Same Fish

I'll try not to dwell on the negative, it really was OK though, I had already caught and released some nice fish in that particular riffle so a move wasn't really a bad thing.  Luckily for me, their was a nice stretch of pocketwater about a 1/4 mile downstream that was begging to be fished, so I jumped on the opportunity.
Another Cookie Cutter Brown

On a side note, I have been playing around at the vise with some  Dohiku jig hooks, Polish Quills and Tungsten Beads in the past few days, as I had some free time between orders (I'm buried again mind you) and wanted to replenish some of my jig style nymphs that I currently had left some empty spaces in a few of my fly boxes.  I decided to mess around today with nothing but these style of weighted nymphs as the flows are low, the water is unseasonably above normal temperatures and the trout have been hungry.  This turned out to be a wise choice.
Light Olive Quill Body Jig

The hot color combo today was a gold beaded light olive quill jig for the entire morning. These flies are very easy to tie, sink like a rock as a result of being very streamlined and also have a multitude of color variations depending upon thread color, rib, and quill.   The great thing about the quill bodied flies is you have segmentation built in in the material as a result of the darker banding on one edge of the quill.  Couple that with some different thread colors and wire ribbing and you can make some really neat looking patterns that are just plain fishy.
Olive Quill Body Jig

The other hot fly was a smaller version in standard olive with a silver colored tungsten bead.  I guess that little guy was probably taken as some sort of BWO nymph as there was a pretty good hatch of them in the afternoon.  I would have to bet the nymphs were very active today, hence the success with any olive colored pattern early on.
Another Olive Jig Victim

Later in the day before the fishing dropped completely off, a ginger quilled jig was the ticket and accounted for several rainbows and a handful more browns.  Stay tuned for a tying video on these patterns folks, they are easy and very deadly, I almost forgot about how much I enjoy using these particular style of  flies.
Ginger Quill Jig

As the morning unfolded I managed a healthy number of what appeared to be wild browns, holdover rainbows and a couple holdover browns. The largest landed was a female, with a green elastomer around the left eye that stretched the tape to 20.5 inches.  So the streak continues, and it would have been completely blown out of the water if I managed to land the toad that broke my heart.
The 20.5" Female Holdover, Long And Lean

So here I am, drifting the same olive quill jig and mini olive jig combo through a rather fishy looking piece of water when the line stops dead and I think I've stuck bottom.  I naturally set the hook anyway as habit sets in, and the line doesn't move.  As I start to make my upstream trek to unload this apparent snag, the snag begins to move.  Sulking on the bottom with a couple of moderate head shakes, I get my first glimpse at whats on the other end.
Another Nice Brown, A Jumper To Boot

I've caught a lot of fish at or over that magic 20 inch mark in my life, and typically something in the 2 foot range or larger is (not to sound conceited) what it takes to get the juices flowing these days.  Lets just say that this fish was all of that, maybe even slightly longer.  A couple small runs and some thrashing on the surface and it looks like this tank is going to give up without incident.....  WRONG.    As I reach out to try and get my net under this guy, Walter decides to make a run for it and buries himself so kindly into a logjam across the river and it's game over.   This was one of those instances where 5x and a size 12 nymph weren't going to cut it.  Kinda wish it was a 6 inch streamer and 20 pound maxima but what you gonna do.  At least I know where he's hanging now, so maybe next time it will be Walter zero, Rich one.
One Of Several Bows In The Mix

After a few curse words and retooling of my leader, I got back on track and had a day of it.  I'll let the pictures paint the rest of the picture.  I will say this, the Sage ESN has turned into my favorite nymph stick, and I can't see fishing with anything but this rod right now when I choose to nymph.  Lastly, I guess there were a couple lessons learned today;  sometimes it's better to walk away rather than create a tumultuous situation, and secondly, sometimes fish have a mind of their own........

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