EVENINGS ALONG THE STREAM (part 18)
|Part seventeen can be found here|
July 16th, today the winds arose from the WSW around 1:30 p.m. and it blew very hard for a while, and I was concerned that another evening would be ruined, however the winds started to subside in the late afternoon.
Around 5:30 p.m. I set aside the project I was involve in and headed out for another evening along the spring creek with Neil, the editor of FAOL. Upon arriving on the creek I noticed that the wind was still blowing more than I liked, however a call from my son in Tennessee relating his day of fishing took up another forty five minutes and as we said good bye the winds began to die down.
About this time Neil showed up, we then drove the creek looking to see if the spinners were up dancing anywhere, but we saw no activity and decided to head down to the lower section of the creek. Upon arrival we saw some spinners dancing along the stream and there were a reasonable number of caddis skittering across the surface of the water.
Soon we were on the water and I was hard into four trout which came with four casts, however if I laid all four of the trout end to end they might have totaled twelve inches in length. Neil decided to leave the fishing of such leviathans to me and moved downstream from my position looking for other targets. Suddenly we noticed a scattering of PMD spinners above us and soon they were on the water.
The interesting part of this spinner fall was the various ways that the spinners came down, some were in the typical airplane position, some were lying on their sides with both wings together, and some landed on the water with their wings upright much like an adult dun. Besides the PMD spinners the number of caddis on the water had increased and some of the trout were eating caddis and some appeared to be feeding on the PMD spinners.
Using a standard Rusty Spinner Neil took a nice 13 inch brown trout and missed a couple others. I manage to miss a couple more and brushed the teeth of a couple more. Then I noticed that some of the trout appeared to be feeding just under the surface and in the fading light I switched to a size 18 Goddard Caddis and a PMD soft hackle dropped 12 inches off the back of the caddis. A trout ate the soft hackle on the first cast and the stomach pump revealed nothing but spinners. After the second trout I believed that the trout were feeding on spinners that were barely beneath the surface film, therefore I grease the dropper to within an inch of the soft hackle and it worked, but as the trout rose for the fly I promptly took it away from him. I did manage to hook another 12inch rainbow and missed a couple more, and by then I had work my down toward Neil and he pointed out three rising trout that he had been unable to interest.
I told him about a couple of trout that I had seen feeding on PMD spinners and he headed up to look for them. As I working a couple of feeding trout right above me I saw Neil approaching the area where I had seen the feeding trout, when suddenly he stumbled and did a full face plant in the creek. It all happened so fast that I was unable to get a photograph but I noticed that as he went done the rod went up and he popped up immediately unhurt just wet. So there you have the facts; I witnessed the FAOL Editor taking his Saturday night bath! After regaining his feet he went right back to fishing, though I believe that the splash may have spooked his intended target.
I did manage to hook and lose both of fish I had seen rising, but later I did manage to land a nice 16 inch brown trout. All of the action was on the PMD soft hackle fished just beneath the film, but all too soon it was dark and we head back to the vehicle to gear down and discuss the odd feeding behavior. Even though we had both missed several trout we had also taken several and had good evening and only one of us would need to shower later.
The trout feeding on a wet spinner is something that I have encountered many times and had patterns for such occasions which were sitting in my truck, however I have found that PMD soft hackle will often work as well during these situations and soft imitations I always have with me.