Played hooky last night. Rosemary had taken the kids to the beach, so, looking at a mound of work for the next 3 months, and knowing this may be my last shot to get to the Swift, I took a shot and went out.
Opted to use my long rod. The flow's are up on the river which sometimes lends itself to high sticking with a worm anchor and tiny nymph suspended above... So the 11ft 4 wt was my choice. I can throw big dry's on this stick, and that's a major bonus given August/september is an awesome time to fish large terrestrials here. It's a river known for #18-24 nymphs and #20-32 dry's. Its a river, who's upper reaches are basically sand or a bit of moss. It's BWO's, small ones... Midges and some caddis or other mayflies like sulfurs. But August and September is the fisherman's revenge.. You can drop the 7-8X tippet, and tie on a Chernobyl ant on a #6 streamer hook and catch fish consistently. Nothing like seeing an 18" rainbow that for months would only look up at a #28 puff of thread and cdc drifted perfectly... Now attacking a 2" long foam bug like a pike to a 2/0 deer hair slider :)! FUN.
So, I set up with my midge / larva box at the ready, but with a beetle on a #10 as the first option. Had a few attack it and I missed... So, time to go bigger, because these fish were looking up :)
I'd tied up these chernobyls recently (below). Two were given to a friend, and two dropped in my bag... Some how, I'd forgotten my box full of them... so I had two on the day. Probably caught 5, missed several others and had two break me off - which stunk. one was a poor knot to the fly on my part, the other a poor knot to the micro ring I was trying rather than tying leader to leader. Ugh. Out of big dry's, I tried a few small nymphs and caught one. then a small black hackled dry with a bright orange body that I learned about in a Brittish fly fishing mag last year. That was just a totally random "what the heck lets try it" deal. I finished up back to the beetle and caught a couple more and missed several by setting to soon.
The pic was taken with my phone, in a sandwich bag. Considering that, it came out pretty good I think :)... This fish was about 18" long, he's flexed nicely in there. The fish were fat and all in the 16-19" range I'd suspect. Big, fat, and strong fighting in the low 50's degree water that flow's here.
On the way in, I'd noticed a car I suspected belonged to a local guide / fly fishing "celebrity" who's got a book and last year had a nice write up on her series of flies based on one created on the Swift she named the Jail Bird. Her name is Marla Blair. When I got back to the truck, she was packing up to go, so I grabbed a little bug that I've had luck with that's a hybrid of the Jail Bird and another larva I like. I brought it over, introduced myself, thanked her for the great article in Fly Tyer last year and gave her a bug. She was real appreciative and friendly, and I headed back to the truck to pack up.
Then I look up, and here comes Marla, and she graciously gave me a Jail Bird she tied. Very cool to see it tied by the originator. Thanks for the kind gesture Marla (if you ever bumble into this post :)), I really appreciated it!
One final point. Matt Grobert always wraps up his great blog Caddis Chronicals (http://www.caddischronicles.com/) always signs of noting to sharpen your hooks. Ill agree, but suggest checking your knots. I thought i'd done well, but, clearly had not. And it cost me some nice fish... So, tie good knots when you fish!