"We'll only stop for a little while, just to see what is going on."
Adam laid out the plan as he put the car into park, and stepped into the chilly early morning air. It was nine o'clock but our day started several hours earlier, as we stalked the banks of one of our favorite haunts. Over a mile of water, we only spotted two fish, casting to neither. They were no where to be found. We moved onto plan b, but decided to stop at c, just for a short while. Several hours later, we were still there. As I made my way to the other side of the water, I stopped and found a sweet spot.
A swarm of tricos danced the tango above the riffle feeding into the lake. Hundreds of them investigated my whereabouts as I made my way over a foot bridge looking for some fish. They moved as a single unit, like a ball of bait evading a predator. Out a ways, dozens of dimples dotted the surface of the water as wild brown and rainbow trout feasted. From the bridge, I had a clear vantage point in the gin clear, fifty degree water. The fish were everywhere. Despite the numbers, I struggled looking for the main prize. My eyes crossed several trophies in the 12-14 inch class that easily could have fallen for some 7x and a tiny nymph, emerger, or dry. With so many fish to choose from, I didn't know where to start.
Suddenly, from the depths, a shadow emerged prowling deep along a sandy bottom. The fish put the others to shame. It had shoulders and yet moved with grace, picking off easy meals courtesy of the current. The other fish scattered, as I reached down and stripped several yards of line off my reel. I had intentions of using the current to drift my offering into the zone, careful to avoid any unnecessary drag. The presentation was perfect, as the fly drifted towards the actively feeding fish. Three feet from the target, the fish suddenly became aware. It turned and darted out of his feeding lane, leaving my fly to drift haplessly through a cloud of debris. So much for easy pickings.
I retreated, intent on wishing, watching, and waiting for another chance. In the distance, Adam worked a ledge, as several fish stuffed their faces yards away. I let him know, that our original plan had been surpassed by some four hours and that we better move on. He simply raised a finger, signaling one more shot. I received the same treatment three other times that day, as one more cast morphed into a few hundred. The fish were pinicky, despite feeding with reckless abandon and creating quite a disturbance all across the lake.
The fly line laid out upon the water raised suddenly and proceeded to travel out into the lake, as Adam's drag screamed. He was into a nice fish and he let everyone in the immediate vicinity know it. You could have cut the tension with a knife as he deftly maneuvered the large fish on light tippet around the weeds. I was waiting for the tiny hook to bend, as the fish made one last gasp towards deeper water. It never happened. As he reached down into the water, several spectators wondered out loud, what size trout he was about to land. From the water came a slab of "what the hell is that thing," as a realized I was about to answer the usual questions for the umpteenth time . Adam had vindicated the last few hours of fishing and landed a trophy in the 12-14 pound class.
The trout received a break.