I did just that today.
Leaving the workplace and exiting town at around 11 a.m., I arrived at the Cow Pen around noon. Shortly thereafter I was on the trail headed for the Catch & Release area. On the trip up, I couldn't help from notice how busy the communities of the birds and squirrels were. Within both there was a frenzy of activity. The birds were busy gathering seeds and the squirrels were most certainly nuttin' up. I've come to learn over the years, that such activity with these critters usually signals a big change in the weather is coming. And...I believe that change is scheduled to arrive tonight or early tomorrow.
I could not have asked for a more beautiful day. The sun was shining, the temperature was promising mid-sixties and there was absolutely no wind.
Upon arriving at the Catch & Release I went to some favored water of mine and plopped down a bugger. But, after five or six plops it became apparent the bows weren't interested in the bugger. So...out came the Flash Back Pheasant Tail and immediately the action heated up. These bows are so magnificent! The strikes today were extremely subtle and hard to detect, however...once the bows tasted the hook they were simply tenacious! I believe I have never seen a faster fish than the Rainbow. There are quite simply swift and sleek and it's thrilling.
As I said, the strikes were really subtle and I was nymphing across a fast current which required me to really manipulate and mend the line and manage the fly. Michael Mercurio recently reported that the character of Blue is changing from visit to visit and Mercurio is right. I had to fish this particular spot differently from just a week ago. But the bows were there and we met.
One of the things I wanted to do today that I didn't get to do on my last outing was to explore a little. Exploring is fun but in the Catch & Release area it can wear one out rather quickly.
As I was having fun battling the bows with the Pheasant Tail I turned to look upstream and there it was...a rise. With that rise, my exploration began because I wanted to get to that pool quickly. I struck out on a course and to tell you the truth I think I took the long route but I got there none the less.
My problem was this was a wide pool, about 100 feet wide, and the risers were almost exactly in the middle which would require me to make a rather long cast with a dry. That's a pretty tall order, particularly in tight situations, but I gave it a shot anyhow. I tied on a size 20 Adams and gave her a sling.
Damn, did I have fun
There was one particular lane and if I placed my fly in that lane I would get a take each time. These bows were so excited when they'd strike they would absolutely go over the fly. Out of ten or more frenzied, hurried, excited strikes, I only took two bows but it was one hell'ava time!
Why I was dry flying I noticed a change in the air and it was about that time the risers quit so I stayed in this spot and tied on my ole friend the Hare's Ear. The Hare's Ear did okay for himself but not to the tune the Pheasant Tail did. The Pheasant Tail I used earlier was a size 18 and the Hare's Ear was a size 14. Pretty good range I would think. I carried the Hare's Ear back downstream to the spot I had good success with the Pheasant Tail earlier and the old boy proved himself in that water.
I'd been on the river about an hour and half then and knew I was fixing to call it a day so I tied on a bugger again to do some slow stripping. I cast to the exact same spot I did a week ago that captured bows. But this time all I captured was a submerged tree or something. I lost two buggers in a matter of twice that many casts and this should exemplify the changing character of the river.
I guess there is a lot of upstream trash that washes downstream and becomes lodged in the Catch & Release area such as this washing machine casing. The upstream part of Blue River is populated toward the Connerville area and it's sad to me such things end up in a pristine and special part of the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area.
As I was walking across the small falls on my way to the bank to make the trip back, I sat down on one of the falls and smoked a cigarette. While there I listened to the voice of Blue and I was totally at ease. It's amazing what good medicine the outdoors and a river can be. I've been under the weather for the last three days but today I couldn't tell it at all. I felt good!