A detour between work and home was in order this afternoon and I settled on a nice little stream that is very close to home. I hadn't fished it since last season and had recently learned of it's stocking (this stream typically gets stocked later than most around here) so that was a helpful bit of knowledge to have. I don't generally get too romantic about the stocking truck but after and 0-fer the other day with my daughter I was ready for some cheap romance and a good confidence boost.
I tied on a small elk hair caddis as I thought about how nice it would be to catch a trout on a dry for the first time since last season. One gets a bit tired of a clunky nymph with dropper set up so I compromised and tied on the caddis with a pheasant tail dropper. No luck for the first half an hour...so...on I went.
Got in the car and drove a bit further downstream to a productive little pool and re-rigged to the double nymph set-up (oh well, what's a guy to do?) I quickly landed a gem of a trout on my first drop and then hooked and lost another on my second. Things were looking up, weighted line or not, stockies or not. I had some fun moving about the stream to let the pool settle and returned within ten minutes or so. Another fish came to hand shortly. A nice looking trout, and the largest of the day by far. She put a beautiful bend in the rod and gave a quickness to my pulse.
Things began to settle and I thought about calling it quits and actually getting home at the hour that I had said I would.
Was that a...
There were a few of them and a smattering of bugs on the water, hovering about. The rain came in just in time to confuse me but there were some rises that left no doubt. The skies darkened in a tandem pace with the rain and here I was, glad I had stretched out my decision to leave.
I tied on the smallest blue winged olive that I found in the box and looked to an area that showed a consistent rise. Could I pull this off? This was more delicate work than I have been used to. False casting as I let out some fly line...and...I let it go...SMACK! FISH ON!
I played the fish toward me and looked up to a sight that you may not believe that I actually saw. In fact, I don't know if I even believe it. There, across and downstream of me, was a big doe. She caught my eye instantly as I played the trout and then she did something I have never seen a deer do. She nodded. Not just once or twice, mind you, but she nodded for a few good seconds as if to say, "Yeah buddy, you got a fish on, good job". Embarrassingly enough, I actually spoke these words out loud to the deer like she was an old fishing buddy, "First fish on a dry fly!", and then netted the little silver bullet. Hey, at least I recall talking to an animal...there are worse things a guy could do.
I caught trout on top for the next half an hour. Some came on the drift, others as soon as the fly landed. A couple of trout were hooked and lost, a couple more to net. Was this an actual April hatch? Darned if I know but it sure felt like one to me.
Ya know, come to think of it, I should have gotten that doe's number...