been on the water a lot these past few weeks. having big fishing families at the ranch is great - it usually means lots of trips with the same folks over the course of the week, which is a great way to bond on the water, catch a bunch of fish, have a lot of fun and ultimately get some good grease at the end of the week.
the drakes have come and gone. we had a good two weeks of them up and down the creek, on various stations, depending on the day. the photo above has about two hundred of them in it, but i'm not sure how well you can see them. for many days, the pattern was to get to a hole with an extended body drake, whack two or three or four with that, then put on a parachute adams, whack another two or three, then depending on how many fish we saw in the run, try one of the other four drake patterns i have and try to sting a few more.
one interesting thing was that, just about every day, right around 11:30 the hatches would stop and the fish would stop feeding on the surface. one theory i had was that by 11:30 the water had warmed up just enough to stop the drakes from hatching, which in turn stopped the fish from rising. another theory was that the fish had gorged themselves so much while the drakes were around that they had no need to rise anymore. either way, when the fishing screeched to a hault at just about 11:30 every day, and we had another hour and a half of fishing to do, tactics had to be changed. so my rig changed from dry to wet and we went sub-surface. drake nymph, PMD nymph was the ticket and it worked. 3 to 1 on the PMD, but those fish were definitely still eating. it was a pretty cool thing to watch the stream go from an explosion of drake rises to not a single rise in the course of fifteen minutes. as the fish change their feeding, so i would change my presentation and i was fortunate to have good fishing both during and after the drake hatches. probably a half dozen times in the past few weeks, i have changed flies or rigs and on the very next cast hooked a fish.
the three pictures below are of Kathleen, Jessica and Jessica and Alice, who were in two weeks ago. we had some great fishing and had a great time.
Alice, on the right, is an absolute stick. she's been fishing longer than i've been alive, and it is really fun to fish with her. shortly after the above photo was taken, we turned the boat back toward camp for lunch. we were the last boat on the water, so a little behind the others, but Alice would not cross the lake without her fly in the water. before we opened up the motor, i asked her how long she had been married to Terry, who was in the other boat with Kathleen and Les, the other guide on the Lakes that day. she said 46 years, and the three of us got into a relationship conversation that i contributed mostly nods and laughs to. four or five times, as we crossed the lake, during the middle of this conversation i was trying to pay close attention to, Alice would get a hit and that would stop her mid-sentence as she set the hook hard into a brookie or cutty and then yell some expletive if the set was missed or hoot/holler in some way if the hookset was successful. it was quite a sight.
we had some crazy rains this afternoon. the creek looks like it may spike in flow which means tomorrow's fishing is going to be nuts. not that it isn't already.