Wednesday, May 29, 2013


As I was reading, I came across Tom Travis' WB Ant patterns and decided to try my favorite ant in a lighter shade.  Luckily, I already had some pink foam around, and it didn't take long to whip some up.  Not really sure why I put the white on top, other than it just seemed right.  I considered adding more color variations to my box, but didn't have time before leaving this morning for a solo trip to a favorite stream of mine.  Thinking it might take some doin', I set out with the goal of catching a fish on one of these flamboyant flies.

This morning was pretty cold, even a bit colder than I was planning on, and I was greeted by freshly fallen snow on the summit.  I never really thought about wussing out, which I'll take as a good sign, but I knew I should've brought some more warm clothes.

I could see that braving the cold would totally be worth it when I managed some early success.  This brown hit a Rainbow Warrior that I was working as a dropper off my Pink Ant.  Over the past few years I think I've gotten a lot better at fishing nymphs, both as droppers and with an indicator, and this added skill has helped me turn days that would be tough situations into successful trips.  Makes me eager to continue to learn and practice more.
Not a bad way to start.

After moving on to the next likely spot, it only took two casts to get this fish to take my Pink Ant.  The little guys just slammed it!  It was like he was trying to wipe out the abomination!  Fine by me, another pattern for me to play with.
Mission accomplished!  But I still kept the pink on for most of the day...
After getting into some more fish in the next couple holes, using the Pink Ant and a combination of a sow bug and a BH Hare's Ear, I came up on this Brown Trout feeding like crazy.  First cast he came up and took a close look at the Pink Ant but refused to take it.  It took everything in me not to set the hook prematurely, which of course would've soured any chance I had at catching him, but I managed it just barely.  After waiting a few minutes, and watching to see when he returned to feeding, I once again began casting to him only to miss him when he tasted my dropper!  I thought it was all over at that point, but still I tried to be patient and wait him out.  Once he began feeding again I carefully casted just ahead of him and he took the dropper.  No mistakes this time!  I had a solid hook-set and was playing the fish.  Unfortunately, he did not like the game and was pushing my 4/5 wt. to its limits.  After a long fought battle (and a quick pic) I tried my best to revive him.  But it was to no avail as he just wouldn't recover.  Luckily, I was prepared to take a fish home and my family was happy to have a nice dinner.  Interestingly, when I was cleaning the fish I found 5 crawdads and a fish skeleton inside him.  Crazy to think he had all that in him, and he was still feeding so aggressively.
Biggest fish of the day at 21"

 Beautiful Rainbow that fought like a champ!

After the nice Brown Trout, I was ready to declare the day a success.  So I began fishing more quickly, trying to make some headway back towards my car, and fishing only my favorite spots.  I must know how to pick them!  The above Rainbow Trout, that actually has faint orange slashes suggesting that it may be a Cut-bow, took my nymph to the air!  After a couple of good runs, jumps, and a little tail walking it was back to trying to make my way back to the parking area.  But I just couldn't help and fish one more spot that provided me with the fourth trout species for the day, a Tiger Trout.  It isn't very big, but it still counts!
 Not pretty, but it's still a Tiger Trout.

The last fish of the day, a nice Cutthroat on the pink.

Not everyday could be like this, it'd be boring, but I'm sure glad that some of them are.  Hopefully you can get out and enjoy the water.

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