My best guess is that everyone looked at the five day forecast and decided that yesterday would be ideal for playing hooky. How else to explain the dramatic reduction in angler traffic today? Not that I’m complaining. I bounced around to several spots on the upper TMA, and fished all by myself for two glorious hours.
Conditions: Cooler than yesterday, mix of sun and clouds, chilly breeze (dammit, I left my fleece vest in the truck). Water 425cfs, 48 degrees, crystal clear. Not nearly as many caddis as yesterday, and that resulted in no takes on the Squirrel and Ginger. Size 12 SHBHPT was the runaway favorite fly. Plenty of midges, and some size 16-18 BWOs. No H bugs. Saw only one rise (as opposed to dozens yesterday).
Yes, dear, you have something on your lip. Hold still and I’ll take it out.
How I fished: three fly team of wets, two size 12 S&Gs and the pictured BHSHPT. The bead was copper tungsten. Mostly casting down and across, but I did some upstream and short-line deep presentations. I caught them on the swing, the mended swing, the dangle, and the short-line deep. A fair mix of standard-issue and Survivor Strain stockees. I stopped counting after a dozen. I say this not to brag (if you were there you would have likewise caught a multitude) but rather to illustrate how good the fishing was on the wet. If Woody Allen fished, he might have said, “80% of success is just showing up…with wet flies..after they’ve stocked the upper TMA.”
“Tell me, Two Caddis Humping, why do you ask?”
Lessons re-learned: If there’s a sudden pause in what has been fairly constant action, check your three-fly rig for tangles. Yep, that’s not helping. Make sure the line lays out flat on the cast. The wind will screw you every chance it gets. If you’re fishing wets, let the new standard-issue stockees take the fly before you set the hook. If you try to set on the bump/tap, you’ll miss the fish. Let them hook themselves. The Survivor Strain and holdover/wild fish will simply clobber the fly. Bless them. Expect a good fight. Some of the new SS fish are shaped like a rugby ball.
The obesity crisis in Survivor Strain browns. For newly stocked fish, they sure can swim. This one had to be coerced into the net.