Saturday, May 26, 2007

Caddis Time

Multiple hatches sometimes require a simple solution. That was the case yesterday on a charming SE Minnesota spring creek, where you could observe small BWO's, sporadic Light Hendricksons, small yellow craneflies and plentiful caddis flies .

The weather was quite sunny and bright, and spring caddis were the most active under the trees. There were occasional surface risers, but the major feeding activity occurred under the surface. Trout were darting and fleshing in the riffles, intercepting emerging pupae.

I tried several pupa patterns, but settled for the very simple one, which trout found irresistible. For some reason, they preferred the fly with pretty thin body instead of the typical bulbous one. I fished mostly shallow riffles and shaded areas. The pattern designed to sink easily and weighted only with its copper wire rib is a perfect match for these conditions. It sinks just deep enough, it is not overdressed, and has plenty of action built in.

The fish took the emerging pupa fished upstream on the dead drift or twitched, and across or downstream on the swing. I got some fish on Light Hendrickson emerger as well, but it was still a bit early for this hatch on this particular stream-LH action should really start next week.

The trout pictured is slightly above average size for this stretch of water. I released seven trout in a couple of hours of fishing during the mid-day.

I suspect the evening would bring out some spectacular dry fly action.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Guiding Amy...

A couple of days ago Amy and I decided to explore Whitewater River complex in SE Minnesota. None of us have ever been there, so it was a true exploratory trip. Also, this was Amy's first FF trip this year, so I had to play the guide (something I actually really enjoy doing.) The fishing reports weren't the greatest, since the rivers are fairly low, and the weather conditions were not very spring-like. We decided to go anyways, since any day of fishing is way better than a day spent in the city.

We arrived to the river valley and decided to hit the South Branch first. The water was fairly warm for May, and apart from plentiful cream midges and solitary Light Hendricksons there was not much going on. We concentrated on sporadic riffles and Amy missed a couple of strikes on the small nymph. After walking upstream for a while, without much luck, we decided to change the location.

A short drive away is a beautiful little spring creek, Trout Run Creek-located in the middle of the Whitewater State Park. It was a lunch time, and the strong wind started to blow. It felt more like mid-summer than spring, and the fish were acting accordingly. I did not fish much earlier in the day and after a series of rapid casts with a BH nymph, I finally hooked a nice brown in a shaded riffle. It shot towards the shore and then straight upstream, throwing the hook. We continued upstream, exploring the wooded stretches. On the way back to the car, we located a bunch of smaller fish feeding on the surface, under the rocky wall. Amy deceived a couple of fish with tan coloured Rabbit Foot Emerger. Those were Amy's first trout of the year.

The fishing was just getting better in the afternoon hours, but it was time to go. The area holds some incredible trout water and there will be plenty of chances to get acquainted with it later this year.