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Empty Promises

30 Aug 2011, Posted by The Fly Trout in Gone Fishin'

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I went out today to a small creek near Jefferson that supposedly was beaver ponded (I don’t think that’s a real phrase but it sounds pretty good). When I arrived the sun had still not made it’s way over the mountain that positioned itself next to the creek on the east. With the air still quite chilly, I got out of my truck and roamed around a little to see where I might begin fishing this new area.

There are two creeks in this section of state land and I had to figure out which one might produce the most fish. This area was extremely brushy and in order to get to either creek I had to work my way between thick bushes and small trees. The first creek I checked out was pretty narrow and somewhat swift. I didn’t see many pools or undercut banks so didn’t think catching something would be easy. I made my way to the other creek to find that it wasn’t much of a creek, but more like a series of small beaver ponds anywhere from 30 to 50 feet across that were interconnected by a small trickle of water. These little ponds looked very promising.

I went back to the truck, threw my waders on, pieced my rod together and off I went. Once I made my way through all the wet brush and reached the first pond I was ready to hook me a fish. It was a little tricky to cast because of all the bushes and trees surrounding the beaver pond. First few casts with a comparadun and nothing. I made my way over to the other side near the spot I was casting, when I spotted a fish dart out across the water. I suppose it’s good that I saw the fish, but why didn’t she take my fly? I fished this litte pond for a little bit longer and again nothing! Since there were a multitude of ponds I didn’t want to spend too much time at this first one.

I fought off some more attackers (wet tree branches) and reached the next fishin’ hole. Cast, wait, retrieve, nothing. Cast, wait, retrieve, nothing. What is going on here? Why won’t these little fish bite? Is it the air pressure? Greg (my fly fishing Yoda) always says, “The fish are acting funky, it’s probably the air pressure.” My guess is that I need to changes flies. I took off the comparadun and tied on a trusty old elk hair caddis. Now they are surely to take my fly. Cast, wait, retrieve, nothing. Cast, wait, retrieve, nothing. I continue like this for a little bit because as a fisherman you have to be patient.  Maybe there are not any fish in this particular pond. So I decided to try the next one. Just as I made my way around the pond to find the next one I see another fish get spooked by my shadow, swimming away from me as though I was a shark about to devour him.

Ok so what have I learned to this point. A) there are fish in these waters and, B) they either don’t like my flies or my presentation, which has to be false because my presentation is always spot on (that is sarcasm, in case you missed that). Anyway, since they weren’t hitting anything on top they must be feeding on some nymphs. I decided to change from using dries to a beadhead pheasant tail nymph that I have always had success with. I tied it to a hopper that I used as my indicator.

I make my cast and just sit there patiently, yet anxiously waiting to see that hopper get pulled under. As you probably have guessed by now, nothing. My hopper just sat there motionless as if it were frozen in time. I slowly strip my line in to give that little bug a little life, but the fish aren’t buying it today. After a few more casts and no bites, these promising ponds left me with an empty feeling.

I was not willing to leave these mountains without a catching something. I packed up my gear and drove 15 minutes up the mountain to Jefferson Lake. I was 99% sure I would land something because I had luck there the previous week. I make my way down to the shore, slip on my waders, slap on a little comparadun, and make a cast. BAM! Finally a fish taking my fly! I wasn’t able to land that first one but I spent a hour landing some and missing others. Just the way it’s supposed to go.

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