august, slow

” The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip”.

Henny Youngman

It’s late summer. Not much happening. Things are dry. No real rain in months. The grass crunches under foot. It’s almost the same sound as brittle snow in January. Forest fires are burning west of here. They have been burning a good part of the summer. The air has been smoky for weeks. Fresh, clear Rocky Mountain air is a myth.

smoke

smoke-filled sky

Hatches on my local rivers are weak. Eventually we will run out of Weak and then enter the Strong realm again as things cool and BWO’s (may fly) make an appearance.

clouds

hop2

Surface eating fish are hard to find during the day. You have to fish real late, on the edge of darkness, or real early. When the sun is up it means prospecting with terrestrial bugs: grasshoppers and beetles or their creative derivations.

hopa

bow

I missed a great fish the other day. Its rise was slow and it ate my impression even slower than slow. It lingered and I struck too fast pulling the grasshopper fly out of its mouth. I’ve been doing that a lot this year. Hmm…have to pause longer before I strike…got go slow.

Some photos from past couple of weekends.

brw1

cloudplain

rockbed

snoozing on firm mattress

 

brwdist

 

man-eater brown trout

“Trashy novels always out sell the classics…tabloids out sell the Times”

bbrown

brown trout on size 16 dry fly

 

In the past three or four years I’ve written 100 plus posts on this blog. One post, above all, received significantly more attention (hits) than any other. It simply blew all the others away…10X more attention. Was the quality of the writing that much better?…”No”. Were the photographs super special or intriguing?…”No”. Were the trout huge?…”No”. Was I giving away cash?…”No”. It was simply the title. It contained the words, “French Assassins”. The post had nothing to do with espionage, mystery or murder. I was simply quoting a phrase/term used by an author in a slow-paced, gentle fly fishing book called, Chalkstream Chronicle, by Neil Patterson. It’s a great book. One of my all time favorites.

 

031

faraway

rainbow on dry-fly, size 18 pmd

In one chapter Patterson describes how some French anglers in economically depressed war-time France, or just post war, survived by designing highly effective flies (killer patterns) for flat water creek fishing (difficult water) that allowed them to fool very discerning trout; I believe they were brown trout. If I remember the story correctly they either kept their families alive with the protein they caught from the streams or they sold the trout to restaurants in order to earn money when there was no employment opportunities in their ravaged homeland. Basically, they fished to survive and because of this they became very skilled and specialized at catching trout on their local water. Thus the term, “French Assassins”. The common feature of all of these flat water flies is that they were tied in a very sparse (airy/light) style.

032

Abby, trout spotting from bluff

 

loopbwn

brown trout

best abby

 

I wonder how today’s tabloid title, “Man-eater Brown trout” will fare? More hits? I’ll see…

abbywind

scenery

handhead

rainbow, fly, size 18 pmd

Above and below are some brown and rainbow trout I caught and released over the last couple of weekends sight-fishing late July and early August. The angling was quite challenging. All trout were fooled on Pale Morning Duns (dry-fly/emerger patterns) size 18 and 16. I got lucky as some of the small fly hook-ups held. I also missed quite a few.

036

rainbow

004 (3)

 

finger (2)

simple dangling patterns, size 18, black wing for grey glare

 

upclose

close in rainbow

Canyon Trout

004

I went down into the canyon. It’s a fairly long walk. I haven’t been there in several years…beautiful place, eerie at times, especially when you’re alone. I took Abby with me.

posts

The angling was a bit slow. We are kind of between hatches: the Pmd’s are waning and the hoppers (not really a hatch) aren’t doing the “hop” yet. The canyon can be a good place for terrestrial fishing as bugs get blown off of the cliffs and fall into the river. The trout eventually clue in to this.

closeinf

They weren’t looking up on the weekend, however, I did manage to fool a few fish in the shallows that were willing to rise: rainbows. I was on the hunt for brown trout. Some fish took a good look at my fly but were skeptical and turned away. I saw several nice ones on nymphs but they wouldn’t budge from the bottom. The good thing is there were fish around and I spotted some.

abbyhigh

Abby on the cliff

Sight-fishing in the canyon can be challenging as the light-coloured cliffs reflect sunlight  casting an intense glare on the water.

thumbf

I’ll go back when the grasshoppers are more prevalent (hopefully soon) and the fish are on the lookout for them and showing themselves by rising. Then my terrestrial fly impressions will be more productive.

abbycliff

009

shinyf