June 20, 2009

Still no Green Drakes.

I've been waiting for these stupid bugs to show up for months now... It doesn't sound so bad when I read it, but it sure sounds funny when I say it out loud. Every time I start talking about bugs my wife gets this weird look on her face that basically says, "I didn't think you could be any more of a huge nerd, but you've just proved me wrong." I'm sure she's getting used to it by now, but I wonder sometimes what she tells her friends: "He started talking about bugs again, so I just smiled and nodded my head and imagined I was talking to Dwayne Johnson [The Rock]." That Dwayne Johnson, what does he have that I don't? I keep telling her that it could be worse, I could be totally infatuated with a hobby that was ridiculously expensive and totally time-consuming...

Anyway... Every time I've fished the Truckee in the last couple of months I've expected some kind of a green drake hatch to happen, but it never does. In the last couple of weeks my friends kept telling me that they were seeing green drakes in the evening but I didn't see any yesterday. I thought I saw some coming off, but it was getting dark and there were a million other kinds of bugs swarming. I possibly saw one or two unconfirmed. Definitely not enough to warrant the purchase of $11 worth of green drake dry flies.

Tons of caddisflies and PMDs everywhere though. We saw PMDs all afternoon and some sulphurs and yellow sallies in the late afternoon. The caddis didn't show-up until around sundown. You know the caddis hatch is good when you can see them crawling under the bill of your hat and you start inhaling them as you breath. Not a whole lot of rising fish though. Not like I'm used to in these caddis swarms. We caught several smaller fish on PMD emerger and e/c caddis patterns as the daylight started to disappear. Louise caught a bigger fish a bit earlier on her PMD emerger, but most of the fish caught in the early afternoon (including a beauty of a whitefish) were taken on subsurface flies.

I started using this crazy-looking green drake nymph with a dangling thorax and a san juan worm dropper. I though for sure that the green drake nymph was going to be hot, but it didn't turn a single fish (again, another well-worth-it purchase). I switched the dropper to a small tan BH hare's ear and hooked a fish immediately, who promptly broke that fly off. I tied another of the same fly on as a dropper and hooked and released two fish out of the same hole (I checked their mouths, but my lost fly wasn't in there).

After breaking off my entire setup on a category 4 stick, I tied on a larger olive BH hare's ear along with the same tan BH hare's ear dropper and started catching fish left and right on both flies. I hooked a fish in a deep pocket that would've easily been my personal best trout (I'm guessing it was well over 6/7 lbs), but that fish was quick to break-off that tiny dropper fly and leave me standing motionless at the top of the pool in disbelief for about 10 minutes. After an experience like that, it takes a while to come crashing back to reality... I may have cursed a little...

I looked in the fly box for another of those small tan BH hare's ears, but my last one was stuck in the face of that submarine of a fish. Bummer... A bird's nest was all I had that was close enough, so I used that, and it was just as productive.

The fish were holding all throughout the river, in all types of water. Some guys who passed in their pontoons said they were taking fish on huge streamers in about 12 - 16" of water. Another group of floaters said they had been using dry flies all day and had done great. It sounded like the catching was good no matter how you were fishing.

All in all a good afternoon with lots of beefy fish and the one that got away.

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