Boone and Mike planned on hitting the catch and release area early, and then catching up with Michael, Scott, and me later on in the south wilderness. Michael, Scott, and yours truly had agreed to meet at 9 o'clock and head straight for the south wilderness, and this is exactly what took place.
Before heading out this morning, I hit the mercantile store and built a Christmas gift basket for Miss Gloria at Scotty's. For the last three or four years I have taken her a gift basket and I knew if I didn't get it delivered today I might not get it there at all due to a tightening work schedule and more ill weather headed this way.
Right after dropping the basket off at Scotty's, I look down the road and there comes Scott Dittner. We chat a while and then decide to head to the meeting spot with Mercurio... figuring he was dragging ass. However, Mercurio was already in place waiting on our asses that seemed to be dragging. We shoved off and hit the wilderness.
Mercurio is probably the best nymph fly fisherman I've ever met. Most times I fish with him he smokes my butt in good fashion. Scott has become one of those guys who has twenty, thirty, or more fish days. However, there are times that capturing trout are a hard fought battle and unfortunately this would be one of those days... at least while I was there. Mercurio and I would have to cut out mid-afternoon, but Scott would end up staying to fish with Mike and Boone.
It's happened to me many times... more times than I would like to tell. It's almost like you have flies with good Juju, or flies with bad Juju. Today, I seemed to have a couple of patterns with the good Juju.
One of the good Juju flies was the Copper John. Fishing it at the lower end of the south wilderness, this pattern would take the first half dozen trout. I would have left it on, but after tying several flies of a pattern I had never fish before I wanted to give that pattern a chance. The pattern was the Frenchie... a good Juju pattern also.
The Frenchie is a fairly easy fly pattern to tie. If you have enough material prepped and ready to go, then an easy ten flies can be finished in an hour or so. This pattern was created by Lance Egan, and his creation has a huge following. The guys at flytying123.com have created an excellent video showing the materials and process in creating this pattern.
I tied three different colors of Frenchie's last night - one in pink, one in chartreuse, and one in purple. Starting out with the pink, the trout was quite interested. After several fish, the pink Frenchie was lost to the sea. Then the chartreuse went on.
The chartreuse picked up where the pink left off and more trout were showing interest. After exploring this downstream pool, it was time to go upstream.
Working our way upstream we come to Coyote Pass. Scotty and Merc go further upstream while I stay at the Pass. There are three other anglers here so I bide my time and let them fish. One angler moves upstream and I take that water, but only one fish comes to hand.
Further upstream I fish the trout hotel and it seems there is full occupancy at this stretch. The chartreuse is doing quite well until a tree limb takes his life. The purple Frenchie goes on, but meets with great failure. Then the Lightning Bug goes on and also meets with great failure... and Scott and Merc experienced the same with the Lightning Bug - zero eats. Where's that Copper John?
The John goes back on and one more fish would be taken bringing my daily total to 17. This would be the end of my capturing fish this day.
Making our way to the Cove, the bad Juju still lingers on the flies of Merc and Scott and by now we are all scratching our heads as to why - they're damn good flies fished by damn good fly fishers. Merc tells me it's almost 1 o'clock and I swear it doesn't seem like we've been on the river for an hour. My time, and Merc's time is short, but we plow on hoping for more fish.
At about this time, Mike and Boone along with Boone's wonderful furred friend Josie arrives. I so regret not getting a picture of Josie who is a magnificent specimen of a bloodhound and so well mannered. Mike and Boone had a good outing in the catch and release and now they were exploring the south wilderness.
As Merc and I was beginning our walk out of the wilderness, I kind of made a bet with the remaining three. I bet them that if they went all the way to the top of the south wilderness - a place called Dividing Line Falls, they would really get into the fish. I hope I was right... I hope I win that bet... and not because I like to win bets. I do like people really getting into the fish though.
Good Juju, bad Juju... it happens and that's not what is important. Spending time with folk you really like is what's important. The problem is... these opportunities don't come around often enough.