At left, a fine example of my recent fish photography. A lovely brookie was in this paw an instant before the shutter snapped. He's out of frame in this yet not quite in the water.
I can't tell if this fellow has nice color or not. Lost on me.
My Hardy Marquis is spooled with the #5 but that reel does not like grit at all. I fished it in the Wisconsin trip and it saw a little of the milkshake water. All cleaned-up now but I think it is about to be shelved for a Red Truck.
Chris' rod is a joy to cast and will roll cast the snot out of the Wulff lines. Perfect for the tight confines seasoning the Deward tract on the Manistee.
Above is "the hole" I worked on Saturday afternoon. It was a development exercise I set for myself.
I figured three catchable fish lived here in the bend (probably more like fifteen). I was determined to fish for them with dry, soft hackle wet, dry-dropper, weighted flymph under a wool tuft (indicator), and streamer.
You can see the cover, the current, and the dark turn of a hole which is a good six foot deep over there. The water in the foreground was about fourteen inches deep on my shin. I sat, thought, planned, and observed.
I slowed down and contrived to catch three fish.
Pictured is an old old ginger-caddis leftover from before I started tying cdc-DHC exclusively. Not a bad tie, though.
Maybe a little head heavy. Size 16 here.
My hook left less sting than this smashed fellow. He was not a practitioner of the barbless philosophy.
And "no joy." I fished from a low angle slightly off and upstream so as to use the current to help me with the submerged obstructions.
I stayed low so as not to soil the hole. I got into position and sat for 20 minutes waiting for my bank-side footsteps to fade from memory.
No joy. Odd.
Otter? Osprey? Brown trout in the hole?
I failed the exam. There is something here I did not know or did not execute correctly.
I took nine fish off this stream. Five I took wading downstream returning to my put-in. I "jigged" my soft-hackle in the drift downstream 50' in front of me (full line head + leader) loosing one and hooking five.
My upstream soft-hackle efforts full of concentration and stealth yielded worse results than "playing" a brown partridge-and-orange downstream in the main current drift. No hatch. No spinner fall. Partly cloudy day with a 10 - 12 mph irregularly gusting wind. I had waded up the stream long enough before to consider it fully rested.
Was I "chumming" the stream with my steps? I didn't think so but the results might say otherwise.
My delicate and dedicated fishing of "the hole" pulled nothing. The fish I did catch from upstream presentations came from places unremarkable (not a visible seam off a sweeper or on/around a obstruction).
I fished "water" and not fish. I used the "9 box" method of dividing the stream into three ranks (rows) and three files (columns) upstream but within my reach. I fished closest to me across the rank, then the next rank upstream. Then the next. Three or four steps and I repeated.
I have this nasty nagging feeling I'm too high in the water column for fish feeding close to the bottom while lying in the micro draws and troughs of the streambed.
I suspect. I suspect. I postulate. I guess.
I think I am fishing shallow. I will amend the effort next weekend on that trout dash upstate.
Beauty Shot of gear:
It's lovely gear. It needs a little Lexol in this snap.
Spike Burger and waffle fries. Fished shallow or deep, these hook me every time. Forbidden food.
"Not for Bears."
The evening fire as I read and smoked the last of some Briar Fox from Cornell and Diehl. Sad to say, it hasn't become a favorite blend.
Next up is Sextant by G. L. Pease. Yes, it is slightly cased by rum -- as if that matters a damn bit.
I've nothing bad to say about a little rum casing in the tobacco from time to time.
Rum is a fine substitute for Irish Whiskey or a decent scotch in a glass when you're pressed to it.
One must remain flexible, after all.